03/06/2021 - 12:21

Altech files Australian patent for battery coating technology

03/06/2021 - 12:21

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Altech Chemicals has stepped up efforts to expand the use of high purity alumina, or “HPA” in the burgeoning lithium-ion battery market, filing a patent for its anode-coating technology with IP Australia. Demonstration of better battery performance through the use of an alumina-based battery anode coating could open up another lucrative new market for HPA from Altech’s under-development US$280 million plant at Johor in Malaysia.

Lithium-ion batteries. Credit: File

Altech Chemicals has stepped up efforts to expand the use of high purity alumina, or “HPA” in the burgeoning lithium-ion battery market, filing a patent for its anode-coating technology with IP Australia. Demonstration of better battery performance through the use of an alumina-based battery anode coating could open up another lucrative new market for HPA from Altech’s under-development US$280 million plant at Johor in Malaysia.

HPA is already used as a coating on separator sheets in lithium-ion batteries to improve battery life and performance.

Altech says the use of the alumina-graphite anodes to cut battery recharge cycle losses could address a limitation that has “plagued rechargeable lithium-ion batteries”.

As global uptake of electric vehicles continues to surge, demand for lithium-ion batteries is growing exponentially.

Altech says its innovation could “measurably increase battery energy retention, extend battery life and improve overall battery performance”.

The submitted patent builds on previous testing of the company’s alumina coating technology where first-phase coating trials demonstrated that uniform and consistent nano-metre-scale alumina coating layers were successfully applied on graphite anode particles.

Management says a thin, continuous and regular coating of alumina was observed on the particles under an electron microscope at the University of Western Australia.

The company has also completed first round testing of its technology on batteries where two separate batches of battery electrodes were produced.

One batch was made using non-coated anode grade graphite particles, whilst the other batch was produced using Altech’s technology with the anode grade graphite particles coated with HPA.

Under the testing, one-hundred cycles of cell charge and discharge were completed with the company reporting positive and encouraging results when comparing the coated graphite anodes with the non-coated ones.

Lodgement of the patent with IP Australia is another key step in the company’s plans to take its innovative coating technology to the next level in a market showing no signs of plateauing.

Global HPA demand is projected to grow by as much as 1,300 per cent between 2018 and 2028, driven by its use in synthetic sapphire production and the increasing adoption of LED lighting and EVs.

Altech is aiming to supply feedstock from its wholly-owned Meckering kaolin deposit in Western Australia to a 4,500 tonnes per annum HPA plant in Malaysia.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

 

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