Talga fast-tracking development of silicon anodes on strong demand
Special Report: Talga is fast-tracking further development and potential commercialisation of its mass producible silicon battery anode product to meet demand.
This comes after initial testing of the Talnode-Si product – which uses lower-cost metallurgical-grade silicon – in unoptimised (commercial electrolyte and non pre-litheated) lithium-ion battery cells returned positive results.
Talga Resources (ASX:TLG) added that demand from European and US automotive and battery manufacturers had resulted in a shift in Talnode-Si sample production onto industrial scale process and production equipment, increasing output by 10 times.
It noted that this is sufficient to deliver samples into fast-growing product development and customer qualification programs while highlighting the scalability of Talga’s silicon anode production approach.
“The positive trajectory of interest in Talnode-Si from battery customers and our emerging project development partners is most pleasing,” managing director Mark Thompson said.
“The recent market recognition of our pragmatic approach in using metallurgical-grade silicon to provide performance at significantly lower potential cost is a sign that our team had great forethought in the development of this unique product and process.
“We look forward to fast-tracking the development and commercialisation of Talnode-Si as part of our vertically integrated business strategy to provide high performance anode material at a competitive price and produced to the highest environmental standards.”
While increasing amounts of silicon are being used in graphite anodes to increase the energy density of batteries, their use tends to create problematic swelling, cracking and lithium consumption. That can lead to various issues, including shorter battery life.
Production costs of most silicon-based anodes is also significantly higher than graphite-based anodes.
However, Talga’s Talnode-Si product is an engineered composite of silicon and graphene-graphite with materials and construction of the anode particles designed to manage swelling and increase performance, while using low-cost metallurgical-grade silicon that is expected to increase commerciality.
Success could be very lucrative for the company given that up to 40 per cent of all electric vehicle batteries are expected to contain some silicon by 2026.
The broader market for graphite is also growing thanks in no small part to rapid growth in electric vehicles, which is expected to increase demand for graphite anodes up to 3.2 million tonnes by 2030. Good news for Talga’s flagship Talnode-C graphite anode product.
Talga says that to support the advancing product and market development of its silicon anode, the Niska Scoping Study has been expanded to include production of the graphene-graphite precursors used to make them.
Incorporating this precursor material production into the process flowsheet could provide significant upside to the Niska expansion of the Vittangi project though it has pushed back release of the study to November.
Vittangi recently had its resources upgraded by 15 per cent to 19.5 million tonnes grading 24 per cent graphite.
The company will also fast-track preliminary feasibility studies for Talnode-Si that target stand-alone commercial production options in Europe. This is planned to be finalised in the first quarter of 2021.
This article was developed in collaboration with Talga Resources, 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.