Published On: August 31st, 2022
Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX: ATC) (Altech or “Company”) has announced that it will be expanding its research and development (R&D) laboratory in Perth, Western Australia. The expansion of the R&D laboratories will enable the production of pouch cell-sized batteries, being the next stage of R&D on the Silumina Anodes™ product.
Importance of Pouch Cell in Silumina Anodes™ Project – Altech Chemicals
Altech’s Silumina Anodes™ product involves the coating of silicon and graphite material with a nanometre layer of high-purity alumina for inclusion in the anode of lithium-ion batteries. As a result, the lithium-ion battery has a 30% higher energy capacity, as well as increased cyclability, compared to conventional graphite-only anodes.
Performance testing of the battery has been conducted using an industry-standard coin cell rechargeable lithium-ion battery. While coin cell batteries are useful for comparison at the early stages of development, they have limitations. As a result, to assess whether the material is ready for application (for example, in electric vehicles), the coin cell needs to be scaled up to a pouch cell.
Pouch cell manufacturing is done with a vacuum sealer to remove all traces of air
The pouch cell is a vacuum-packed thin plate with several layers of cathodes and anodes arranged. A conductive foil is used to shut the anodes together in a pouch-shaped package called the pouch cell. Pouch cells are required in large quantities to test the material across wide applications. Pouch cells are usually directly integrated into automotive applications.
A standard pouch cell used in automotive applications
Altech Chemicals’ in-house expansion of its R&D laboratory will enable the production of the required pouch cells for the next stage of the Silumina Anodes™ project.
In-House Facility for Pouch Cells – Altech Chemicals
With the in-house facility and production, pouch cell testing, electrical abuse scenarios, cell limitations, and other factors can be tested. The cell can be further subjected to physical conditions (such as stress, mechanical deformation, etc.) and environmental conditions (such as extreme temperatures), as well as electrochemical tests.
Pouch cell assembly equipment is currently used in Altech
With the tests conducted at the laboratory, Altech can further evaluate the Silumina Anodes™ product. Testing assists with evaluation of the degradation process, electrochemical properties, safety requirements, and so forth.
Also Read: Top 6 Spots for Lithium Mining in Australia
Progress of the Expansion – Altech Chemicals
During the first quarter of 2022, Altech had already installed and commissioned a large-scale tube furnace for its R&D laboratory in Perth.
A new large-scale tube furnace installed in 2022
If you wish to learn more about the Silumina Anodes™ project or other news about Altech Chemicals, visit the official website.
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