08/03/2021 - 14:42

Positive tests for Altech HPA battery coating technology

08/03/2021 - 14:42

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High purity alumina developer, Altech Chemicals says the results from first-phase testing of batteries that contain graphite particles coated with its proprietary high purity alumina coating technology have been “positive and encouraging”. Test work will now proceed to the next stage involving further testing of battery charging and discharging with the aim of demonstrating repeatability and consistency.

Coin batteries used in Altech Chemicals’ battery performance testing. Credit: Bulls N' Bears

High purity alumina developer, Altech Chemicals says the results from first-phase testing of batteries that contain graphite particles coated with its proprietary high purity alumina coating technology have been “positive and encouraging”. Test work will now proceed to the next stage involving further testing of battery charging and discharging with the aim of demonstrating repeatability and consistency.

The Perth-based company recently completed initial-stage demonstrations of its technology which coats graphite particles typical of those used in anode applications within lithium-ion batteries with a nano layer of high purity alumina, a product that Altech is looking to produce out of Malaysia from its long-life feedstock of kaolin in Western Australia.

Altech says the initial trials performed at WA universities late last year showed that its coating process could deposit a uniform and consistent layer of alumina about 2 nanometres thick onto anode-grade graphite particles.

Uniformity and consistency of an alumina coating on anode-grade graphite were both expected to be important factors in improving lithium-ion battery performance and life, according to the company.

Following what it says were the successful demonstrations, Altech produced a quantity of coated graphite for the first stage of battery performance testing.

For the first round of testing, a batch of battery electrodes was produced using non-coated standard anode-grade graphite particles and a separate batch was produced that contained anode-grade graphite particles coated with HPA using Altech’s technology.

A total of 100 cycles of cell charge and discharge were completed and according to the company, results for the coated graphite anodes compared to the non-coated anodes were “positive and encouraging”.

Altech’s test work will now proceed to the next stage involving additional runs of battery charge and discharge with the aim of returning results that demonstrate repeatability and consistency.

Altech Chemicals General Manager Operations and Chief Scientist, Dr Jingyuan Liu said: “We now have to optimise the testing conditions and conduct additional tests to demonstrate repeatability and consistency. The performance of the alumina coated graphite is meeting our expectations so far.”

Dovetailing with the battery testing is Altech’s 75 per cent-owned subsidiary, Altech Industries Germany’s imminent pre-feasibility study, or “PFS” on the possible construction of a battery materials high purity alumina, or “HPA” coating plant in Saxony, Germany.

Management says the current battery test work results will be incorporated into the PFS, which forms part of Altech’s strategy to focus on tailoring its HPA to specialised products for more efficient applications within the lithium-ion battery industry.

The PFS will appraise the economic viability of building the plant, which would be designed to coat anode-grade battery materials with HPA using the company’s alumina coating process.

Altech hopes to ultimately meet the HPA feedstock requirements for the potential German coating plant via its proposed HPA plant in Malaysia.

HPA is commonly applied as a coating on the separator sheets used in lithium-ion batteries, with the alumina-coated separators improving battery performance, durability and safety.

 

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

 

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