The team also discovered that the graphite they have been able to create with DPMG is in layers, similar to the layering of an onion. This type of graphite has only been made in nanoscale processes but is the focus of many research groups around the world to boost the performance of battery materials.
Novonix’s sister company, PUREgraphite, is a commercial producer of graphite battery materials for electric vehicle and energy storage systems.
“Decreasing battery costs is critical in increasing the adoption of technologies such as electric vehicles and grid storage systems and an active area of work for Novonix,” said Chris Burns, President and CEO of Novonix. “This paper is especially unique as it presents a process with the opportunity to decrease cost in active material manufacturing for batteries in both anode and cathode materials. Novonix has been impressed with the high calibre of research coming from Dr. Obrovac’s group since starting to work together in 2018 and is excited about our continued collaboration.”
Another professor at Dalhousie, Dr. Jeff Dahn, works closely with electric car maker Tesla on the new battery technology set to be announced later this week.
“The ability to be able to synthesize both state-of-the-art positive and negative electrode materials with this method is truly exciting,” said Dahn, who is the Tesla Canada Industrial Research Chair. “I believe that the onion-like morphology of natural graphite particles made from what would normally be considered waste is extremely important and could potentially lead to the best and least expensive graphites for lithium-ion cells. I believe that the ability to synthesize appropriately-sized dense particles of NMC and other positive electrode materials in a completely waste-free process, unlike the current methods used today by industry, has huge potential.”