Quarterly Activities Report
Tesla, at its 2020 battery day announced that the required step change to increase lithium-ion battery energy density and reduced cost, would be realised by the inclusion of more silicon in battery anodes. For this to be achieved, high energy capacity metallurgical silicon needs to be introduced into anode chemistry, as silicon has ten times the energy retention capacity compared to the incumbent anode material - graphite. In the words of Elon Musk, "this is the most promising anode material".
However, metallurgical silicon is currently not used in lithium-ion battery anodes due to two major technological challenges. Firstly, silicon expands up to 300% in volume during battery operation causing swelling, fracturing and battery failure. The second challenge is that silicon deactivates up to 50% of the lithium ions in a battery. Known as first-cycle-capacity-loss, lithium ions are rendered in-active by the silicon during the battery's initial charge cycle, immediately reducing battery performance and life. Industry is in the race to resolve these technical challenges, as the prize for the first to succeed would be substantial.
Altech managing director Iggy Tan commented that "The Company believes that its nano technology which coats silicon particles with a fine layer of alumina will resolve both the swelling and first-cycle-capacity-loss problems that currently limit the use of metallurgical grade silicon in lithium-ion battery anodes. Research and development conducted by Altech has shown extremely promising results, initial battery testing was encouraging and further testing is ongoing. The Company is rapidly gaining confidence in its potentially game changing alumina coating technology. A video update can be viewed on the Company's web site www.altechchemicals.com".
To view the full Quarterly Report, please visit:
About Altech Chemicals Ltd
Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX:ATC) (FRA:A3Y) is aiming to become one of the world's leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) high purity alumina (Al2O3) through the construction and operation of a 4,500tpa high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant at Johor, Malaysia. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from the Company's 100%-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia and shipped to Malaysia.
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. Increasingly HPA is used by lithium-ion battery manufacturers as the coating on the battery's separator, which improves performance, longevity and safety of the battery. With global HPA demand approximately 19,000t (2018), it is estimated that this demand will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% (2018-2028); by 2028 HPA market demand will be approximately 272,000t, driven by the increasing adoption of LEDs worldwide as well as the demand for HPA by lithium-ion battery manufacturers to serve the surging electric vehicle market.
Altech Chemicals Ltd