New tech could enable Mineral Commodities ‘to compete with established anode producers globally’
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Mineral Commodities has inked a Memorandum Of Understanding for the use of Forge Nano Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) coating tech, which could significantly improve the performance of MRC’s active anode materials for the battery sector.
The refining and purification process from mined graphite to battery ready coated anode is intensive.
But as in lithium, there is a more general trend for graphite explorers/miners to move downstream to capture more value.
It believes ALD coating tech could significantly improve its active anode materials’ electrochemical performance.
ALD coatings on graphite anode powder stabilise surface defects, it says, which results in better anode powders with higher discharge capacities, longer life, and improved rate performance.
Batteries using ALD-stabilised graphite show increased cycle life, reduced capacity fade, improved conductivity and greater stability under various conditions such as high voltage, fast charge, or high/low-temperature storage and operation.
Additionally, ALD is a potential replacement for carbon coatings on natural graphite powders, a process for which few companies have expertise.
Over the last year, Forge Nano has received major support and signed meaningful partnerships with Volkswagen Group of America, LG Technology Ventures, Mitsui Kinzoku, Air Liquide and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.
Upon successfully demonstrating the proof-of-concept, MRC plans to purchase pilot equipment before entering a commercial development project in which MRC will provide enough material to Forge Nano for engineering and qualification studies for a commercial ALD system.
Upon completing the Commercial development project, MRC will acquire equipment to integrate ALD into its expanded Active Anode Material Plant.
“By combining MRC’s high-quality purified natural graphites from Skaland and Munglinup with Forge Nano’s ALD coating technology, we are exploring the production of a high-performing, cost-competitive graphite anode powder for lithium-ion batteries at scale,” acting MRC chief Russell Tipper says.
“We’re excited about the possibility of a long-term partnership as we advance our plans to fast-track to anode production in the coming years.
This collaboration enables the company to leverage the technical expertise of its partners as well as the company’s graphite production as it moves towards demonstrating downstream processes for spheronisation, purification and coating.
“It has the potential to fast-track our production of sustainable quality anode materials into the Europe battery market.”
Paul Lichty, CEO of Forge Nano, says the high-throughput ALD coating technology will enable MRC to compete with established anode producers globally.
“The collaboration adds to our growing set of partnerships in the graphite anode space, a testament to the value of our technology,” he says.
This article was developed in collaboration with Mineral Commodities, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.