In a strategic partnership with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the two entities will develop a hard carbon production process targeting the sodium-ion battery industry in what has been dubbed ‘The Sustainable Hard Carbon Anode Project’.

These hard carbon materials will be characterised and tested in a sodium-ion cell format at QUT’s facilities for battery development and testing, including the National Battery Testing Centre and Central Analytical Research Facility (CARF).

Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN) has also engaged an experienced battery technology consultant to advise on the project and assist with commercialisation.

A growing alternate battery technology

A high performing, low cost, sustainably sourced anode material for sodium batteries will meet a need for what is a growing alternative battery technology.

Existing hard carbon materials are typically sourced from carbonaceous precursors such as pitch (a by-product of the oil and gas industry) which undergo lengthy heating at high temperatures.

This process is not only extremely energy consuming but when combined with a high emission feedstock, has significant environmental impacts.

Currently, China is the world’s dominant supplier of hard carbon material and SPN says this technology aims to provide an alternative Western supply source thereby reducing sovereign risk for cell manufacturers.

Strong environmental value proposition

SPN managing director Mike Bartels says the Sustainable Hard Carbon Anode project complements existing skills Sparc has developed through its graphene expertise.

The extension of this into renewable energy technologies is a natural fit with Sparc’s photocatalytic green hydrogen project, he adds.

“Using readily available, sustainable bio-waste material will provide Sparc with a strong environmental value proposition when compared with conventional sources of hard carbon.”

In performing due diligence on this project Sparc has reviewed several technologies in the battery space.

Sparc believes that sodium ion batteries have strong market potential, particularly in industrial and grid scale storage.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement is binding and runs for an initial three years with the main objective being to develop functional materials using graphene and carbon material and related manufacturing process technologies, for a range of applications including the coatings, composites, cementitious and energy industries.




This article was developed in collaboration with Sparc Technologies, 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.