“Tests show that a battery with the new silicon quality Silgrain® e-Si can be charged to approximately 70 % capacity in six minutes”, says Torbjørn Røe, senior research scientist at Elkem.
From graphite to silicon
Compared with the graphite used in today’s LIBs, silicon can hold ten times more lithium ions. Hence, replacing graphite with silicon will considerably increase the capacity of rechargeable batteries. Moreover, silicon is safer and has a wider temperature range than graphite. Silicon is therefore considered an optimal anode material in high-performance light-weight batteries, e.g. for use in electrical vehicles.
When used as an anode material in a lithium-ion battery, silicon undergoes large volume changes during charging and discharging, normally causing a rapid decrease in the battery’s capacity. Retaining the charge capacity over many charge-discharge cycles has been a significant challenge in developing silicon-based anodes.
Senior research scientist in Elkem Torbjørn Røe says that the volume-change problems have now been overcome. Elkem and AIST – a world-leading research center for battery-material development based in Kansai, Japan – have worked together for several years in developing the silicon quality Silgrain® e-Si. The new anode material is custom made for AISTs battery technology. In LIB tests, anodes with Silgrain® e-Si exhibit practically no capacity loss during charge and use.
“The improved capacity and stability allows the battery to go longer between charges and improves its overall lifespan. Combined with the speed-up in charging time and increased safety, we believe that lithium-ion batteries with Silgrain® e-Si will play a key role in the futures’ rechargeable battery market, among other things in electrical vehicles,” says Røe.
Ready for the market
After a long development phase, the Silgrain e-Si technology is entering the commercialisation stage. Elkem’s plant in Bremanger is currently preparing to produce industrial volumes of the new quality. Working closely with several customers and research institutions, Elkem is continuously developing its Silgrain® e-Si product portfolio to other anode-material technologies.
For more information:
Torbjørn Røe, senior research scientist, Elkem
+47 98 25 24 18/ email@example.com
Dr.Tetsuo Sakai, Leader of Battery System Collaborative Research Group, Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
- AIST Kansai, Japan is one of the leading centers for battery material development in the world.
- Elkem is one of the world’s leading companies for environment-friendly production of materials. Its principal products are solar grade silicon, silicon, ferrosilicon, special alloys for the foundry industry, carbon and microsilica. Elkem has a 30-year long history of supplying silicon to the semiconductor industry.
- AIST and Elkem have over the course of several years developed Silgrain® e-Si, a silicon quality tailored for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries (LIB)