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  • Altech Chemicals (ATC) says it has “cracked the silicon barrier” after almost 12 months of research at its lithium-ion battery laboratory in Perth, Western Australia
  • The company has developed a silicon-based battery anode that increases battery retention by 30 per cent
  • Silicon anodes add a level of complexity because silicon deactivates a high percentage of lithium ions in a battery
  • Managing Director Iggy Tan says the company’s breakthrough was for the entire lithium battery industry
  • Altech shares have risen 29.09 per cent to 14 cents a share at 12:36 pm AEDT

Altech Chemicals (ATC) says it has “cracked the silicon barrier” after almost 12 months of research at its lithium-ion battery laboratory in Perth, Western Australia.

According to this morning’s announcement, Altech’s team at the research and development facility has developed a silicon-based battery anode capable of increasing the energy retention and capacity of batteries by 30 per cent, compared to conventional lithium-ion battery anode materials.

Researchers had to manage the structural difference between silicon and graphite, the material currently used to make anodes.

Altech said silicon anodes added a level of complexity because silicon deactivates a high percentage of lithium ions in a battery.

The company also noted that silicon particles can expand up to 300 per cent in volume during battery charge, causing the particles to swell and fracture, ultimately causing battery failure.

The silicon-coated anode has passed rigorous testing to ensure it did not jeopardise the reliability of the battery.

Managing Director Iggy Tan said the company’s breakthrough was for the entire lithium battery industry.

“Especially so given the 2020 public statement by US electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, which said that its aim is to increase the amount of silicon in its batteries to achieve step-change improvements in energy density and battery life,” Mr Tan said.

“A 30 per cent higher energy capacity lithium-ion battery would translate not just to significant cost benefits, but also to potentially increased range for electric vehicles.

Earlier this month, Altech’s 75 per cent owned German subsidiary said it was progressing a pre-feasibility study for the construction of a 10,000-tonnes-per-year battery materials plant in Saxony, Germany to service the European battery market.

Altech shares have risen 29.09 per cent to 14 cents a share at 12:36 pm AEDT.

ATC by the numbers
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