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EU demand leads to Talga expanding battery plant

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, June 26, 2020
Overwhelming European demand sees Australia’s battery anode company Talga Resources plan for expanded output at its new Swedish battery anode factory.

Expressions of interest received for Talga’s lithium-ion battery anode products exceed 300% of planned annual capacity of the Vittangi Anode Project, the company says.

Talnode products are now in 36 active commercial engagements covering the majority of planned European li-ion battery manufacturers and six major global automotive OEMs.

Talga says it’s expanding the scale of the Niska scoping study for the Vittangi Project to review larger anode production options as a result of this significant interest.

Li-ion battery megafactories are set to require more than 2.5 million tonnes per annum (tpa) active anode material by 2029, up from about 450,000 tpa anode production today, with Europe the fastest growing market.

That’s because worldwide li-ion battery demand continues to rapidly increase, with global battery manufacturing capacity set to exceed 2.5 tera-Watt hours (TWh) per annum by 2029 across 142 battery plants.

“Our engagement with European battery companies and automotive OEMs has grown rapidly, with customers attracted by the potential of locally produced anode at competitive costs and with world-leading sustainability,” Talga managing director Mark Thompson says.

”As we progress Talnode-C through commercial qualification stages with customers it is pleasing to note that interest now greatly exceeds our original planned production, and that the need to review expansion options has arisen this early.”

The increased interest means the company is targeting completion of the Niska scoping study in Q3 2020.

While COVID-19 has severely impacted EV sales in the short term, Bloomberg New Energy Finance data shows EV sales hold up better than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles due to new (lower cost) models and supportive government policies.

In the quarters prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, EV sales as a percentage of total passenger vehicles rose rapidly in the EU, with Germany and France recording increases of 100% during the period.

Numerous countries across Europe have implemented some form of financial incentives towards customer uptake of EVs, and post COVID-19 these have increased markedly in some countries.

Talga is entering the European market at a time when 100% of anode supply is still sourced from Asia. The company’s marketing team reports that, post COVID-19, localisation is becoming an increasingly significant factor influencing customer’s purchasing decisions.

Tags:  Battery  Graphene  Li-ion batteries  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

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Gridtential Energy and LOLC Advanced Technologies Team up on New Bipolar Battery Technology

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Gridtential Energy, the inventor and developer of Silicon Joule™ bipolar battery technology and LOLC Advanced Technologies, the research and advanced technology arm of LOLC Group announce that they have entered into a technology evaluation agreement.

Under the agreement, over the next few months, LOLC Advanced Technologies and Gridtential Energy will collaborate on prototyping lead batteries with the combined advantages of Silicon Joule™ bipolar silicon plates and AltaLABGX, the Graphene battery additive applied to active materials, supplied by Ceylon Graphene Technologies, CGT (a joint venture between the LOLC Group and Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC). Preliminary work indicates that the combination of these elements will lead to higher performing batteries in energy density, charging rates and cycle life.

Silicon Joule™ bipolar technology has created an innovative class of lead batteries with silicon at its core. It is a design driven, low cost, high performance, patented energy storage solution that provides improved power density, cycle life, dynamic charge acceptance and temperature range, with up to 40% lower weight, while retaining full lead-battery recyclability. This is all accomplished while leveraging existing technologies from mature industry supply chains – allowing rapid adoption of existing lead-battery infrastructure.

"We are pleased to be working with LOLC Advanced Technologies and Ceylon Graphene Technologies, leaders in battery manufacturing solutions and graphene battery additives respectively. We expect that leveraging leading-edge electro chemistry with our highly efficient Silicon Joule bipolar design will produce industry leading performance with significantly lower weight," said Gridtential Energy CEO, John Barton. "Whether it is longer cycle-life or greater charge/discharge performance, Gridtential is changing the way that OEMs in automotive, 5G telecom, and stationary power markets think about high-performance, low-cost, safe energy storage.

"Every day, we are making it easier to leap into the Silicon Joule Technology future. Whether it is through our rapid prototyping development kits, off-the-shelf reference batteries, equipment manufacturing partners, and now additive experts, the adoption ecosystem has never been stronger. We are pleased that more and more battery manufacturing companies are taking advantage of our technology - now with Graphene battery additive - to produce lead-based products that can compete with lithium. We are quite confident that first movers will be richly rewarded with commercial success."

With Silicon Joule™ bipolar battery technology from Gridtential Energy, that combines the benefits of lead batteries with silicon-enabled, high performance characteristics, battery manufactures world-wide, will be prepared to meet the challenge.

"Worldwide demand is increasing for superior energy storage systems at the edge and driving innovation. LOLC Advanced Technologies with Ceylon Graphene Technologies are improving battery electro-chemistry with our pure graphene and our advanced manufacturing expertise. Partnering with Gridtential's Silicon Joule bipolar solution will lead the advancements in safe, reliable and higher performing lead batteries," said, Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara, LOLC Group

Tags:  Batteries  Battery  Ceylon Graphene Technologies  Energy Storage  Graphene  Gridtential Energy  Ishara Nanayakkara  John Barton  LOLC Group 

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Talga Looks to Expand Battery Anode Capacity

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Battery  anode  company Talga  Resources  Ltd is  pleased  to provide an update on the development of the Vittangi Anode Project in northern Sweden.   As part of this  on-going  development  the  Company  is  engaging  directly  with  lithium-ion  (“Li-ion”)  battery manufacturers towards purchase agreements for its planned anode production.

Commercial   samples   of   Talnode-C,   and   in   some   cases   Talnode-Si,   are   progressing   through confidential  qualification  processes  under  36  active  customer  engagements.  These  include  the majority of announced Li-ion battery manufacturers in Europe (see Figure 1) and six of the world’s major automotive OEMs.

Expressions of Interest received by engaged parties for supply of Talnode-C in 2023 exceeds three times the annual production capacity proposed in the Company’s Pre-feasibility Study1. As a result of this  interest,  Talga  is  expanding  the  Niska  Scoping  Study  underway  to  evaluate  significantly  larger anode production options for the overall Vittangi Project.

Commenting on the Company’s progress, Talga Managing Director Mark Thompson said: “Our engagement  with  European  battery  companies  and  automotive  OEMs  has  grown  rapidly,  with customers attracted by the potential of locally produced anode at competitive costs and with world- leading  sustainability.     As  we  progress  Talnode-C  through  commercial  qualification  stages  with customers it is pleasing to note that interest now greatly exceeds our original planned production, and that the need to review expansion options has arisen this early.”

Planning for expansion of anode production – Niska scoping study

Based on the strong interest from industry and the anticipated permitting timeframes in Sweden, the  Company  has  decided  to  expand  the  Niska  scoping  study  of  the  Vittangi  Project  to  review significantly  larger  anode  production  options.  The  outcomes  will  be  in  addition  to  the  current Nunasvaara South PFS production plan of 19,000 tpa*.

This  scoping  study  is  underway  on Talga’s  three  Vittangi  graphite  resources  not  currently  in  the PFS; Nunasvaara North, Niska South and Niska North (“Niska Scoping Study”), all located within approximately  2.5km  kilometres  north  of  Nunasvaara  South  (see  Figure  2).    Collectively  these JORC  resources  total  6.5  million  tonnes  at  26.8%Cg  (see  Table  1),  including  a  higher  grade resource domain at Nunasvaara North of 900,000 tonnes at 33.0%Cg (see Table 2).

A  mining  study  supporting  the  larger  scale  project  has  been  completed,  and  metallurgical  and battery  product  testwork  on  composite  samples  is  underway.  Due  to  the  significant  increase  in scale, the Company is targeting completion of the Niska Scoping Study in Q3 2020.

Li-ion anode market growth

Worldwide Li-ion battery demand continues to rapidly increase, with global battery manufacturing capacity set to exceed 2.5 tera-watt hours (TWh) per annum by 2029 across 142 battery plants. This will require >2,500,000 tpa of graphite anode, up from ~450,000 tpa anode production today. Europe  is  the  world’s  fastest  growing  region  for  Li-ion  battery  manufacturing  and  will  require
500,000 tpa of new graphite anode supply by 2029.2

While the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 has severely impacted electric vehicle (“EV”) sales in the short  term,  Bloomberg  New  Energy  Finance  data3  shows  EV  sales  hold  up  better  than  internal combustion engine vehicles due to new (lower cost) models and supportive government policies.

In the quarters prior to the COVID-19 outbreak EV sales as % of total passenger vehicles rose rapidly  in  the  EU,  with  Germany  and  France  recording  increases  of  100%  during  the  period4. Numerous countries across Europe have implemented some form of financial incentives towards customer uptake of EVs, and post COVID-19 these have increased markedly in some countries5.

Competent Persons Statement

The Niska Mineral Resource estimate was first reported in the Company’s announcement dated 15 October  2019  titled  ‘Talga  Substantially  Increases  Flagship  Graphite  Resource  Size,  Grade  and Status’. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects  the  information  included  in  the  previous  market  announcement  and  that  all  material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Resource estimate in the previous market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.

The Nunasvaara Mineral Resource estimate was first reported in the Company’s announcement dated 27 April 2017 titled ‘Talga boosts Swedish graphite project with maiden Niska resource’. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the previous market announcement and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the Resource estimate in the previous market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.

The Nunasvaara Ore Reserve statement was first reported in the Company’s announcement dated 23 May 2019 titled ‘Outstanding PFS results support Vittangi graphite development’. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included  in  the  previous  market  announcement  and  that  all  material  assumptions  and  technical parameters underpinning the Reserve estimate in the previous market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.

Tags:  Automotive  Battery  Graphene  Graphite  Li-ion Batteries  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

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New battery electrolyte may boost the performance of electric vehicles

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, June 24, 2020
A new lithium-based electrolyte invented by Stanford University scientists could pave the way for the next generation of battery-powered electric vehicles.

In a study published June 22 in Nature Energy, Stanford researchers demonstrate how their novel electrolyte design boosts the performance of lithium metal batteries, a promising technology for powering electric vehicles, laptops and other devices.

"Most electric cars run on lithium-ion batteries, which are rapidly approaching their theoretical limit on energy density," said study co-author Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. "Our study focused on lithium metal batteries, which are lighter than lithium-ion batteries and can potentially deliver more energy per unit weight and volume."

Lithium-ion batteries, used in everything from smartphones to electric cars, have two electrodes -- a positively charged cathode containing lithium and a negatively charged anode usually made of graphite. An electrolyte solution allows lithium ions to shuttle back and forth between the anode and the cathode when the battery is used and when it recharges.

A lithium metal battery can hold about twice as much electricity per kilogram as today's conventional lithium-ion battery. Lithium metal batteries do this by replacing the graphite anode with lithium metal, which can store significantly more energy.

"Lithium metal batteries are very promising for electric vehicles, where weight and volume are a big concern," said study co-author Zhenan Bao, the K.K. Lee Professor in the School of Engineering. "But during operation, the lithium metal anode reacts with the liquid electrolyte. This causes the growth of lithium microstructures called dendrites on the surface of the anode, which can cause the battery to catch fire and fail."

Researchers have spent decades trying to address the dendrite problem.

"The electrolyte has been the Achilles' heel of lithium metal batteries," said co-lead author Zhiao Yu, a graduate student in chemistry. "In our study, we use organic chemistry to rationally design and create new, stable electrolytes for these batteries."

For the study, Yu and his colleagues explored whether they could address the stability issues with a common, commercially available liquid electrolyte.

"We hypothesized that adding fluorine atoms onto the electrolyte molecule would make the liquid more stable," Yu said. "Fluorine is a widely used element in electrolytes for lithium batteries. We used its ability to attract electrons to create a new molecule that allows the lithium metal anode to function well in the electrolyte."

The result was a novel synthetic compound, abbreviated FDMB, that can be readily produced in bulk.

"Electrolyte designs are getting very exotic," Bao said. "Some have shown good promise but are very expensive to produce. The FDMB molecule that Zhiao came up with is easy to make in large quantity and quite cheap."

The Stanford team tested the new electrolyte in a lithium metal battery.

The results were dramatic. The experimental battery retained 90 percent of its initial charge after 420 cycles of charging and discharging. In laboratories, typical lithium metal batteries stop working after about 30 cycles.

The researchers also measured how efficiently lithium ions are transferred between the anode and the cathode during charging and discharging, a property known as "coulombic efficiency."

"If you charge 1,000 lithium ions, how many do you get back after you discharge?" Cui said. "Ideally you want 1,000 out of 1,000 for a coulombic efficiency of 100 percent. To be commercially viable, a battery cell needs a coulombic efficiency of at least 99.9 percent. In our study we got 99.52 percent in the half cells and 99.98 percent in the full cells; an incredible performance."

For potential use in consumer electronics, the Stanford team also tested the FDMB electrolyte in anode-free lithium metal pouch cells -- commercially available batteries with cathodes that supply lithium to the anode.

"The idea is to only use lithium on the cathode side to reduce weight," said co-lead author Hansen Wang, a graduate student in materials science and engineering. "The anode-free battery ran 100 cycles before its capacity dropped to 80 percent -- not as good as an equivalent lithium-ion battery, which can go for 500 to 1,000 cycles, but still one of the best performing anode-free cells."

"These results show promise for a wide range of devices," Bao added. "Lightweight, anode-free batteries will be an attractive feature for drones and many other consumer electronics."

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is funding a large research consortium called Battery500 to make lithium metal batteries viable, which would allow car manufacturers to build lighter electric vehicles that can drive much longer distances between charges. This study was supported in part by a grant from the consortium, which includes Stanford and SLAC.

By improving anodes, electrolytes and other components, Battery500 aims to nearly triple the amount of electricity that a lithium metal battery can deliver, from about 180 watt-hours per kilogram when the program started in 2016 to 500 watt-hours per kilogram. A higher energy-to-weight ratio, or "specific energy," is key to solving the range anxiety that potential electric car buyers often have.

"The anode-free battery in our lab achieved about 325 watt-hours per kilogram specific energy, a respectable number," Cui said. "Our next step could be to work collaboratively with other researchers in Battery500 to build cells that approach the consortium's goal of 500 watt-hours per kilogram."

In addition to longer cycle life and better stability, the FDMB electrolyte is also far less flammable than conventional electrolytes.

"Our study basically provides a design principle that people can apply to come up with better electrolytes," Bao added. "We just showed one example, but there are many other possibilities."

Tags:  Battery  electric vehicle  Graphene  Li-ion Batteries  SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory  Yi Cui  Zhenan Bao 

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Sulfur Provides Promising 'Next-Gen' Battery Alternative

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, June 18, 2020
With the increasing demand for sustainable and affordable energy, the ongoing development of batteries with a high energy density is vital. Lithium-sulfur batteries have attracted the attention of academic researchers and industry professionals alike due to their high energy density, low cost, abundance, nontoxicity and sustainability. However, Li-sulfur batteries tend to have poor cycle life and low energy density due to the low conductivity of sulfur and dissolution of lithium polysulfide intermediates in the electrolytes, which are generated when pure sulfur reacts with Li-ions and electrons.  

To circumvent these challenges, a multi-institutional research team led by Chunsheng Wang at the University of Maryland has developed a new chemistry for a sulfur cathode, which offers increased stability and higher energy of Li-sulfur batteries. Chao Luo - an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at George Mason University - served as first author on the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on June 15.

Numerous conductive materials such as graphene, carbon nanotube, porous carbon and expanded graphite were used to prevent the dissolution of polysulfides and increase the electrical conductivity of sulfur cathodes - the challenge here is encapsulating the nano-scale sulfur in a conductive carbon matrix with a high sulfur content to avoid the formation of polysulfides.

"We used the chemical bonding between sulfur and oxygen/carbon to stabilize the sulfur," Luo said. "This included a high temperature treatment to vaporize the 'pristine' sulfur and carbonize the oxygen-rich organic compound in a vacuum glass tube to form a dense oxygen-stabilized sulfur/carbon composite with a high sulfur content."

In addition, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) instruments, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and pair distribution function (PDF) were used to illustrate the reaction mechanism of the electrodes.

"In the dense S/C composite materials, the stabilized sulfur is uniformly distributed in carbon at the molecular level with a 60% sulfur content," Wang said. "The formation of solid electrolyte interphase during the activation cycles completely seal the sulfur in a carbon matrix, offering superior electrochemical performance under lean electrolyte conditions."

Li-sulfur batteries have applications in household and handheld electronics, electric vehicles, large scale energy storage devices and beyond.

Tags:  Battery  carbon nanotube  Chao Luo  Chunsheng Wang  George Mason University  Graphene  Li-sulfur batteries  University of Maryland 

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Liquid metals break down organic fuels into ultra-thin graphitic sheets

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, June 9, 2020
For the first time, researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia, show the synthesis of ultra-thin graphitic materials at room temperature using organic fuels. These fuels can be as simple as basic alcohols such as ethanol.

Nanoscale graphitic materials, such as graphene, are ultra-thin sheets of carbon compounds that are sought after materials with great promises for battery storages, solar cells, touch panels and even more recently fillers for polymers.

These researchers were able to synthesize ultra-thin carbon-based materials on the surface of liquid metals at room temperature electrochemically. Before this report, others had shown electro-formation of such carbon-based materials only by transferring sheets onto the electrodes or electrode exfoliation of naturally-occurring carbon crystals from mines.

“Using gallium liquid metal, we could catalytically break down the fuels and form carbon-carbon bonds (the base of graphitic sheets) from organic fuels at room temperature. The ultra-smooth surface of liquid metals could then template atomically-thin carbon based sheets. Removal of these sheets was easy as they do not stick to the liquid metal surface.” suggested Prof Kalantar-Zadeh, the lead of this project and the Director of the Centre for Advanced Solid and Liquid based Electronics and Optics (CASLEO) at UNSW.

“It is simple. Why has room temperature electro-synthesis of two-dimensional graphitic materials not been achieved before? We cannot offer a definitive answer. Perhaps disregarding ultra-catalysts such as liquid metals and too much emphasis on solid electrodes which are inherently not smooth.” added Dr. Mohannad Mayyas the first author of the paper.

The paper was published in highly reputed journal of Advanced Materials ("Liquid-Metal-Templated Synthesis of 2D Graphitic Materials at Room Temperature").

Researchers from RMIT, Australia, University of California Los Angels (UCLA), USA, and the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Korea are the other collaborators of the research and authors of the manuscript.

Tags:  Battery  Graphene  graphitic  Kalantar-Zadeh  Mohannad Mayyas  University of New South Wales 

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Inspire faculty from NIT Srinagar working on marriage of material science & electrochemistry for sustainable energy

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Dr. Malik Abdul Wahid from National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar is a recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty award instituted by the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India working in the area of energy research towards marriage of material science and electrochemistry to develop sustainable energy and affordable energy sources. His focus is mainly on electrodes and electrolyte material electrochemistry.

The major components of Dr. Malik’s current research interests include material research on the electrode development for Sodium-ion (Na-ion) battery, which offers a 20% cost reduction compared to present Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology.  He has been focusing on the two aspects, i.e., cost reduction and efficiency elevation. For the former, he is currently focused upon stabilization of a combination of carbon-based anodes and organic cathodes. While for the latter, he is exploring the new cathode chemistries. Two of his recent projects are development of layered high capacity cathodes by suitable doping that offers high capacity and stability and Sulphate-phosphate hybrid cathodes. Similarly, Sodium (Na) metal anode hosts with heavy Na deposition capacities are being developed.  The mentioned projects are a new direction to the field of Na ion battery research.

Along with his collaborators at IISER Pune, Dr. Malik developed a Si-Phosphorene nano-composite material for efficient Si stabilization as an anode in Li-ion battery, which was published in the journal Sustainable Energy Fuels. The obtained material delivers five times more capacity than carbon-based electrodes and can be fully charged in about 15 minutes.

His team at NIT Srinagar employed a simple hydrothermal strategy to synthesize reduced graphene oxide (rGO) wrapped high aspect ratio 1-dimensional SbSe nano-structure. The work has been published in the journal Chem Phys Chem. They achieved a decent performance with the reversible capacity of 550 mAhg-1 at a specific current of 100 mAg-1which implies that 5 to 6g of synthesized material would run a high range android cell phone.

“INSPIRE Faculty award is a prestigious award and should be distinguished from a regular faculty position in any institute. To honour the positions, I have co-founded a center of excellence (COE), namely, the Interdisciplinary Division of Renewable Energy and Advanced Materials (iDRAEM) at NIT Srinagar. The COE primarily worked with my & collaborator’s research grant, but recently institute promised funding support. Additionally, with the possible support of MHRD (under the FAST scheme), the center is set to blossom and cater to some high-quality research.” Dr. Malik said.

At present, this centre co-founded by Dr. Malik caters to the research in the advanced areas of energy storage and super-hydrophobic surfaces for water harvesting, besides focusing on the local resources of J&K. Dr. Wahid has already published a paper on the application of walnut shell derived carbon as Na ion battery anode applications (ACS Omega, 2017, 2 (7), pp 3601–3609). The material has a lot of scope to be employed for advanced electrode applications. Similarly, waste dairy products and aquatic flora of Dal lake appear to have appropriate morphology to be employed as precursors for the electrode grade carbon.  Energy storage activities under iDRAEM partly focus on the synthesis of high-quality carbon materials from local precursors. Lotus stem is very promising in being porous to be employed as precursor for electrode grade carbon material.  It also undertakes challenges of developing high-quality hydrophobic surfaces by replicating the hydrophobic leaf structure of local plants of DAL lake.

Tags:  Battery  Dr. Malik Abdul Wahid  Graphene  Lithium  National Institute of Technology  Srinagar 

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Skoltech scientists get a sneak peek of a key process in battery 'life'

Posted By Graphene Council, Friday, May 29, 2020
Researchers from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) visualized the formation of a solid electrolyte interphase on battery-grade carbonaceous electrode materials using in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). This will help researchers design and build batteries with higher performance and durability.

A solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) is a thin layer of electrolyte reduction products formed on the surface of a lithium-ion battery anode during several initial cycles. It prevents further electrolyte decomposition, stabilizing the electrode/electrolyte interface, and ensures a long battery life. Forming a SEI film takes time and energy, and its quality largely governs battery performance and durability: a poorly formed SEI results in rapid degradation of battery performance.

Still, the formation of SEI remains poorly understood, and scientists use in situ atomic force microscopy that allows direct observation of this process. Until now, most of these measurements were carried out on Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG), a very pure and ordered form of graphite which has a clean and atomically flat basal plane surface. However, HOPG is a poor replacement for actual battery-grade electrode materials, so the process is significantly different from what happens inside a commercial battery.

A Skoltech team led by research scientist Sergey Luchkin and professor Keith Stevenson succeeded in visualization of SEI formation on battery-grade materials. For this, they had to design an electrochemical cell that allowed the measurements necessary for this direct observation of SEI formation.

"Battery-grade materials are powders, and visualizing dynamic processes on their surface by AFM, especially in liquid environment, is challenging. A standard battery electrode is too rough for such measurements, and isolated particles tend to detach from substrate during scanning. To overcome this issue, we embedded the particles into epoxy resin and made a cross section, so the particles were firmly fixed in the substrate," says Luchkin.

The researchers found that the SEI on battery-grade materials nucleated at different potential than that on HOPG. It was also more than two times thicker and mechanically stronger. Finally, they were able to demonstrate that SEI was better bound with the rough surface of battery-grade graphite than with the flat surface of HOPG.

"Spatially-resolved investigations of battery interfaces and interphases detailed in this work provide significant new insights into the structure and evolution of the anode SEI. Therefore, they provide firm guidelines for rational electrolyte design to enable high performance batteries with improved safety," adds Stevenson.

Tags:  Battery  Graphene  Graphite  Keith Stevenson  Sergey Luchkin  Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology 

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Battery anode agreement with Farasis Energy

Posted By Graphene Council, Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Australian battery anode provider Talga Resources Ltd is pleased to advise the Company has entered an agreement with Farasis Energy Europe GmbH (“Farasis”), a subsidiary of Farasis Energy Inc, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries.

Talga is building a European anode production facility for lithium-ion batteries using the Company’s proprietary material technologies, wholly owned Swedish carbon source and 100% electricity from renewable energy sources. As part of the agreement between Talga and Farasis (“Agreement”), Talga will supply coated (‘active’) anode products for evaluation in Farasis batteries and assessment of potential business development opportunities, primarily in Europe.

Talga Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “Following successful initial tests, we are very pleased to continue this progress in collaboration with the experienced Farasis team. Talga is making substantial progress in commercialising its European lithium-ion battery anode products, and demand is growing rapidly, particularly in the EV market. We look forward to working together with Farasis to advance our anode materials for their innovative energy storage solutions.”

Anode Market Background and Agreement Details
Talga is a developing lithium-ion battery anode producer in Sweden, utilising vertical integration and wholly owned technology to supply cost competitive and high-quality anode to European battery markets. The Company’s operations in northern Sweden use fossil free hydroelectricity, enabling Talga’s position as a low-emission leader in anode production and a secure local partner for the emerging European battery supply chain.

Europe is undergoing unprecedented growth in the demand for lithium-ion batteries, driven by the move to electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. This creates new demand for sustainable and locally sourced battery anode materials, such as Talga’s. In addition, global EV battery demand is forecast to grow 14-fold by 2030, which would require approximately 1.7 million tonnes of anode material per annum1.

Under the non-binding Agreement Talga agrees to supply Farasis with lithium-ion battery anodes in quantities as mutually agreed and required, with no contractually obligated minimum quantity, for evaluation and business development purposes. The Agreement is valid until 2024 and either party can choose to withdraw at any time via standard termination clauses, not constituting binding commercial terms. All of Talga’s intellectual property rights remain unaffected by the Agreement

The Company is unable to quantify the economic benefits to Talga arising from the Agreement at this stage. Further terms, including quantity and pricing, are subject to negotiations throughout evaluation and development, and in the event commercially binding contracts are entered into Talga will inform the market. However, Talga recognises Farasis commercial relationships, particularly with European automotive manufacturers2, to be well aligned with its developing Swedish anode business.

Tags:  Battery  energy storage  Farasis Energy Europe GmbH  Graphene  Li-ion batteries  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

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Talga Resources: QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REVIEW

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, May 9, 2020
Battery anode and graphene additives company Talga Resources Ltd (ASX:TLG)(“Talga” or “the Company”) is pleased to report its activities for the quarter ending 31 March 2020. The following content is as reported by TALGA. 

March 2020 quarter activities included:

COMMERCIAL & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

• MOU agreement signed with Mitsui for joint project development

• Successful 60 tonne pilot graphite concentrate program supports anode market development

• Talga in Bentley Motors electric drive project (subsequent to the period)

• 33,000 tonne ship trials push graphene-coating demand

MINERAL PROJECT DEVELOPMENT & EXPLORATION

• Environmental approval received for Vittangi Stage 1 Mining Operation, Sweden

CORPORATE & INVESTOR RELATIONS

• COVID-19 operational update and cost reduction measures

• Cash balance of A$6.6 million as at 31 March 2020

Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “Amid the challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Talga team achieved significant milestones this quarter, advancing our goal of becoming Europe’s next commercial scale Li-ion battery anode producer.

During this period we partnered with Mitsui, one of the largest global investment and trading companies, and gained approval of our Stage 1 mining permit in Sweden, while responding rapidly to the pandemic in line with government directives across all our countries of operation.

I am heartened by the positive way our team has adopted the measures we have had to take, and thank everyone involved in responding so well to the unfolding situation.”  COMMERCIAL AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Joint Anode Project Development MOU Agreement executed with Mitsui   Mitsui & Co. Europe Plc, the subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., one of the largest global trading and investment companies based in Japan, and Talga executed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) during the quarter to evaluate joint development of the Vittangi Anode Project in northern Sweden. The MoU outlines the intention to negotiate and enter into definitive agreements to form a joint venture with respect to the financing, construction and operation of the Vittangi Anode Project, subject to a series of technical and commercial evaluation stages.

The execution of the MoU follows the completion of a Pre-Feasibility Study (ASX:TLG 23 May 2019) outlining the strong economics of the Vittangi Anode Project and a period of undertaken due diligence.

The potential joint development offers substantial synergies in establishing a European anode supply chain, securing a strategic source of anode products for Mitsui customers (ASX:TLG 20 March 2020) and growth in the battery materials business.

Completed 60 tonne pilot flotation program supports Talga anode development

A Talga pilot-scale processing program of 60 tonne Vittangi graphite ore, forming part of the Stage 1 DFS for the Vittangi Anode Project, was successfully completed during the period under review (ASX:TLG 30 January 2020).

The pilot processing program employed continuous test conditions for numerous key processing steps using advanced, industrial scale equipment at a Scandinavian toll milling and testing facility.

The program achieved the desired product targets using equipment up to 20x larger than that of previous programs. The successful scale-up demonstrates the suitability of the Pre-Feasibility Study process flowsheet for planned commercial production (ASX:TLG 23 May 2019).

The graphite concentrate produced has progressed to next stage refining into Talga’s flagship anode product (Talnode®-C) for on-going anode market development and customer qualification programs.

A lithium-ion battery ‘pouch’ cell with 100% Talnode®-C anode being tested at Talga’s lab in Cambridge, UK.

Copper windings of electric motors used in passenger vehicles

Talga engage in Bentley Motors e-axle development co-funded by Innovate UK

Subsequent to the quarter, Talga announced its participation in the Innovate UK co-funded “OCTOPUS” project, aiming to deliver the ultimate single unit e-axle solution designed specifically to meet Bentley Motors performance specifications (ASX:TLG 27 April 2020).

Under the project Talga will develop and provide graphene materials for the high performance electric motor windings to deliver an aluminium-based solution aimed at outperforming, and ultimately replacing, the copper windings currently used. For automotive manufacturers this could reduce vehicle weight and increase performance, safety and driving range while retaining sustainability and economics.

The improved motor windings form part of the project’s aim of developing next generation lightweight high performance component systems that integrate the latest advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. The components are to be tested at sub-system and system level for an integration route into future e-axle designs.

Lightweight and high performance automotive components complement Talga’s range of Li-ion battery anode products, and success in this program would open opportunities to replace copper wire in many large-scale applications globally.

Commercial-scale ship coating trials push demand for Talcoat® samples

In the previous quarter, Talga released details of a Talcoat® product, a graphene additive for maritime primer coatings, applied on two 33,000 tonne ocean going vessels at sea under large-scale trials (ASX:TLG 4 November 2019 and ASX:TLG 17 December 2019).

Subsequent to the publication of the trials additional parties across several sectors of the global coating industry have engaged with Talga and received Talcoat product samples. These are now undergoing testing by manufacturers and applicators, varying in size and jurisdiction, with positive initial test results.

Negotiations towards purchase agreements are underway with some parties and details will be released as and when any definitive commercial agreements are reached.

MINERAL PROJECT DEVELOPMENT AND EXPLORATION

Stage 1 Vittangi mining operation receives environmental approval

Environmental approval for Stage 1 mining operations at Talga’s 100% owned Vittangi Graphite Project in northern Sweden was received during the period under review (ASX:TLG 3 March 2020).

The trial mine environmental permit was issued by the Environmental Review Committee within the Norrbotten County Administration Board and is valid for three years.

The permit allows for the extraction of up to 25,000 tonnes of graphite ore for planned processing into concentrate and refining at Talga’s downstream anode refinery to produce Talnode®-C, the Company’s flagship Li-ion battery anode product developed to provide a sustainable and cost competitive choice for battery manufacturers.

The permitting process included comprehensive test work and studies to minimise the environmental footprint of the operation and upon conclusion of Stage 1 mining the site will be rehabilitated using the successful measures from the Company’s 2015-2016 trial mining campaign.

Preparations for site works and contractor selection is underway with operation planning to commence following completion of further statutory compliance, Stage 1 refinery permitting and financing activities.

Environmental and statutory permit applications for Stage 2 mining and concentration operations, with a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum of graphite ore, are nearly complete but now expected to be submitted in Q2 2020.

In full-scale production the graphite concentrate will feed Talga’s planned downstream refinery in the coastal city of Luleå, 250km to the south, to produce 19,000 tonnes per annum of Talnode-C as per the design parameters detailed in Talga’s May 2019 Pre-Feasibility Study (ASX:TLG 23 May 2019).

Tenement Interests

As required by ASX listing rule 5.3.3, refer to Appendix 1 for details of Talga’s interests in mining tenements held by the Company. No new joint ventures or farm-in/farm-out activity occurred during the quarter. Some non-core project tenements were rationalised or relinquished during the period under review.

CORPORATE AND INVESTOR RELATIONS

Share Registry Update

During the quarter Talga’s share registry changed to Automic Group. The change took effect from 20th January 2020 (ASX:TLG 20 January 2020).

Measures implemented to manage effect of COVID-19 on Talga operations

Subsequent to the period under review, the Company proactively implemented a range of measures to manage the effect of COVID-19 on its operations (ASX:TLG 2 April 2020). The policies and procedures put into effect focuses on the well-being of Talga’s people, partners and customers. Where possible, Talga staff across the UK, Germany, Sweden and Australia continue working remotely to deliver corporate, operational and product marketing functions.

Dealings with customers are ongoing and development of the Vittangi Anode Project is proceeding with minor interruptions. The Stage 1 DFS finalisation and Stage 2 permit application submission are now targeting Q2 2020.

Activities at Talga’s test facility in Rudolstadt continue, subject to government precautions and at a reduced rate, with priority placed on finalising samples and materials already in production. The Company’s current stocks of Talphite® and Talnode® products are considered sufficient to meet demand in the short term.

Talga’s participation across Innovate UK electric vehicle technology projects and customer graphene programs also continue subject to quarantine restrictions.

To maximise the Company’s capital position, Talga has implemented a group-wide cost reduction programme to reduce fixed and variable costs. As part of the cost reduction programme, the executive team, senior management and the board will undertake significant salary reductions, ranging 20% - 50%, for the remainder of the financial year.

Cash outflow during the period included some major but temporary costs relating to accelerated development of the Vittangi Anode Project in Sweden. These development activities, although ongoing to an extent, have largely been completed and the Company expects to have materially lower cash outflow going forward.

Financial

Talga closed out the 2020 March quarter with A$6.6 million cash-in-bank and was capitalised at ~A$76 million (based on closing price 29 April 2020). Currently the Company has 243.6 million quoted ordinary shares and 11.8 million unlisted options on issue.

This announcement has been authorised by the Board of Directors of Talga Resources Ltd. 

Tags:  Battery  Graphene  Graphite  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

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