With global demand for lithium-ion batteries expected to grow 18 times this decade, there is an increasing need for more economical and environmentally friendly battery materials. To help solve this growing global challenge, Calix is using the renewably powered BATMn reactor to pioneer a more sustainable and more affordable production method for lithium-ion battery cathode materials.
Since the beginning of the year, Calix’s Advanced Batteries line of business has continued to progress development of its cathode active materials across multiple fronts. The lithium manganese oxide (LMO) cathode materials continue to be optimised, with the latest samples exhibiting a specific discharge capacity of ~130mAh/g, up from ~120 mAh/g previously, based on lab-scale samples and test results.
In January, Matt Boot-Handford (GM Research & Development and Deputy Chief Scientist) and Hinne Temminck Tuinstra (GM Strategy and Portfolio) made the journey to AMTE Power’s Manufacturing Plant in Thurso, at the northern tip of Scotland, UK to observe the latest pilot line pouch cell manufacturing trials with Calix’s LMO cathode active material. The AMTE team produced excellent quality foils which were subsequently assembled into 3.5Ah pouch cells and are now being evaluated. Later this month, AMTE will commence a production campaign to make commercial format pouch cells that will be assembled into a 2.4 kWh pack for powering an electric motorbike application.
In Australia, Deakin University’s Battery Research and Innovation Hub (BatTRI-Hub) has begun fabrication and testing of electrode foils manufactured in-house with Calix’s LMO cathode active materials. Results from tests at AMTE and BatTRI-Hub are expected in the next quarter. Previous tests on Calix’s LMO materials indicate excellent potential for high power applications, such as industrial vehicles and power tools.
For other segments of the battery market, including electric vehicles, alternative battery chemistries such as lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and lithium nickel manganese oxide (LNMO) chemistries are preferred. Calix’s development of LFP and LNMO battery chemistries continues to gather pace.
The development of alternative battery chemistries not only opens opportunities in new and larger segments of the battery market but will also demonstrate the potential of Calix’s production method as a more sustainable and low-cost chemistry agnostic platform technology.