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Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) - Managing Director, Iggy Tan - The Market Herald
Managing Director, Iggy Tan
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  • Altech Chemicals (ATC) has demonstrated its alumina nano-layer coating technology can coat silicon particles that are used in lithium-ion battery anodes
  • The high-purity alumina producer has already shown its technology can coat graphite, but coating silicon has been a major breakthrough as it has proven to be an industry-wide difficulty
  • Significantly, multi-billion-dollar electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla recently announced its plan to increase the amount of silicon in its batteries to improve energy density and battery life
  • This places Altech and its technology at the forefront of coating lithium-ion battery anode materials for EV manufacturers
  • Altech is up 14.6 per cent on the back of this news and shares are trading at 6.3 cents

Altech Chemicals (ATC) has made a significant breakthrough with its coating technology on silicon particles.

The high-purity alumina producer has successfully demonstrated its alumina nano-layer coating technology can be used to coat silicon particles.

Like graphite particles, silicon particles are typically used in lithium-ion battery anodes. However, silicon has 10 times the theoretical energy capacity compared to graphite.

This achievement follows Altech successfully showing its technology can be used to coat graphite particles. This breakthrough was announced in December last year and meant that graphite particles, which are generally uncoated, could increase battery energy retention, life and performance, if they are coated.

But what makes today's announcement exciting is U.S. electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla recently shedding light on its plans to increase the amount of silicon in its batteries to improve energy density and battery life.

Unfortunately, the nano-coating of alumina onto lithium-ion battery anode materials such as silicon has been difficult for the industry to achieve, as silicon has a number of capacity and expansion issues which have prevented it from widespread adoption.

Altech's process involved adjusting its technology by depositing a "uniform and consistent" layer of alumina on the outer edge of the silicon particle to encapsulate it, in order to achieve the outcome it wanted.

"We are very encouraged by the excellent coating results achieved from the application of our technology, it has the potential to significantly increase the use of silicon in lithium-ion battery anode and consequently the potential to increase battery energy density, overall performance and longevity," Altech General Manager of Operations and Chief Scientist Dr Jingyuan Liu said.

Altech's next step will be to further optimise the coating process to ensure it can be reliably utilised to coat lithium-ion battery anode materials.

Altech is up 14.6 per cent on the back of this news and shares are trading at 6.3 cents at 12:16 pm AEDT.

ATC by the numbers
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