VIDEO: Altech Chemicals Ltd (ASX: ATC) Battery materials pilot plant design completed

Perth, February 1, 2022 AEST (ABN Newswire) – Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX: ATC) (EN:A3Y) is pleased to announce that Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG) has completed the preliminary design of a pilot plant, to be built in Germany, to demonstrate Altech’s proprietary alumina coating technology for battery materials. . The pilot plant is designed to produce up to 36,680 kilograms of anode grade coated battery material per year (120 kg per day). AIG, 75% owned by Altech and 25% owned by Altech Advanced Materials AG, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, has the exclusive rights to use Altech’s battery materials coating technology within the Union European.

The pilot plant design is intended to be installed in the Dock3 facility adjacent to AIG’s designated site in the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park (see Figures 1 and 2*). AIG has secured approximately 300 m2 of floor space in Dock3 where the pilot plant will be located. In addition, an on-site analytical laboratory is planned for the pilot plant. The laboratory will allow rapid assessment of the purity of pilot plant products and monitoring of physical parameters that will allow for rapid modification, as needed, of changes in process parameters and operational set points. The Dock3 space is already connected to all required utilities and includes office space for the project and operations team.

The pilot plant design was separated into two distinct process areas; production of precursors and coating and calcination of battery materials. Precursor production equipment must operate in batch mode, producing approximately 10 kg per batch. Production is sufficient to power the downstream anode material coating stage for approximately 30 hours of continuous production. Due to the nature of metallurgical leaching and crystallization processes and the high purity requirements of the plant’s end product, process equipment must be fabricated using fluoropolymer and ceramic materials. The design of the pilot plant also draws on knowledge that Altech and certain equipment suppliers have developed during the design of its Johor HPA production facility. Centrifugation, filtration and calcination equipment should be provided by equipment suppliers of large-scale designs to allow evaluation of operating parameters and dimensioning of extrapolation calculations.

The coating and calcining section of the pilot plant was designed to operate continuously with minimal downtime to ensure consistency of material produced. The purity of the end product was the primary design consideration when selecting processing equipment and major materials of construction. Pilot plant production of battery materials should be used to confirm that the Altech process consistently meets product purity requirements, optimize equipment design and process parameters for a large-scale production plant of 10,000 tpa, and to produce qualifying samples for any potential joint venture sampling partners and end users.

AIG is currently in the final stages of selecting the engineering contractor, with the chosen company to be responsible for the detailed engineering design, procurement and installation of the equipment.

At its research and development laboratory in Perth, Altech has successfully applied its alumina coating technology to silicon and graphite particles, typical of those used in the anode of lithium-ion batteries, such as in the emerging industry. electric vehicles. Alumina coated particles, when incorporated into a lithium-ion battery anode, improve the energy capacity, life and performance of the battery. On November 25, 2021, the Company announced a significant breakthrough achieved by its research and development laboratory located in Perth, Western Australia. After nearly 12 months of challenging work, the R&D team has “cracked the silicon barrier” and successfully produced a series of lithium-ion battery anode materials, which when tested have shown approximately 30% higher energy retention capacity than conventional lithium-ion battery anode materials. .

To achieve its breakthrough, Altech successfully combined silicon particles that had been treated with its innovative proprietary coating technology with regular battery-grade graphite particles, to produce a lithium-ion battery electrode containing a graphite/ silicon. When energized, these materials have 30% greater capacity than a conventional graphite-only anode material. In addition, hitherto unresolved obstacles for the use of silicon in lithium-ion battery anodes which were the swelling of silicon particles; first cycle prohibitive capacity loss up to 50%; and rapid battery degradation with each charge and discharge cycle, were also resolved during laboratory testing of Altech’s graphite/silicon composite battery anodes. Importantly, the batteries demonstrated extremely good stability and cycling performance over long periods of time.

The lithium-ion battery industry has recognized that the step change needed to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries and reduce costs is to introduce silicon into the battery anodes, as silicon has ~ten times the energy holding capacity compared to graphite. Metallic silicon has been identified as the most promising anode material for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. However, until now, silicon could not be used in commercial lithium-ion batteries due to two critical drawbacks. First, the silicon particles expand by up to 300% in volume during battery charging, causing the particles to swell, fracture and ultimately fail the battery. The second challenge is that silicon deactivates a high percentage of the lithium ions in a battery.

The lithium ions are rendered inactive by the silicon, which immediately reduces performance and battery life. The industry is in a race to break the silicon barrier.

Altech’s potentially breakthrough technology has demonstrated that silicon particles can be modified to solve capacity loss caused by swelling and first-cycle loss capacity. Phase 2 of Altech’s planned R&D program will see the company strive to improve on the 30% energy increase achieved in the first phase.

To view the pilot plant video, please visit:
https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/109043/atc

*To view tables and figures, please visit:
https://abnnewswire.net/lnk/13E7X9WT

About Altech Chemicals Ltd

Altech Chemical Ltd ASX:ATCAltech Chemicals Limited (ASX: ATC) (EN:A3Y) aims to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of 99.99% (4N) high purity alumina (Al2O3) through the construction and operation of a high purity alumina processing plant ( HPA) of 4,500 tpa in Johor, Malaysia. Raw material for the plant will be sourced from the company’s 100% owned kaolin deposit in Meckering, Western Australia, and will be shipped to Malaysia.

HPA is a high-value, high-margin and high-demand 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 crystal used for wristwatch dials, optical windows, and smartphone components . HPA is increasingly used by lithium-ion battery manufacturers as a coating on the battery separator, which improves battery performance, longevity and safety. With a global HPA demand of around 19,000 t (2018), this demand is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% (2018-2028); By 2028, HPA market demand will be approximately 272,000t, driven by growing LED adoption globally as well as demand for HPA by lithium-ion battery manufacturers to serve the growing market rise of electric vehicles.

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Leon E. Hill