If all goes according to plan, we will see lithium-ion EV batteries with anode material sourced in North America.
Northern Graphite Corporation announces that it has partnered with Coulometrics LLC to manage development of the company’s proprietary technologies for manufacturing spherical graphite (“SPG”) and improving the performance of lithium ion (“li-ion”) batteries.
Northern Graphite explained the initial focus is on the development of nano-material based surface coatings for SPG.
SPG is manufactured from flake graphite concentrate produced by graphite mines and is the anode material in li-ion batteries. Prices for SPG are approximately $3,500 per ton uncoated and up to $10,000 per ton coated.
“The li-ion battery industry is almost entirely dependent on China for the supply of SPG made from natural graphite,” said Greg Bowes, CEO, Northern Graphite Corporation. “The company’s objective’s are to provide li-ion battery manufacturers with a stable, secure source of high quality, advanced graphite materials produced in an environmentally acceptable manner, and to capture additional margin from value added, upgraded products.”
Almost all SPG is produced from small flake concentrates and the yield is only 30 percent which is the largest cost in its manufacture.
Northern said it has achieved yields up to 70 percent from its large flake graphite which will substantially reduce production costs.
Northern said only natural flake graphite that can be economically rounded and purified to 99.95%+C can be used to make SPG and it must be free of specific impurities. Northern has, the company said, produced SPG from its concentrates, purified it using its own proprietary process, and successfully tested it in batteries.
“Northern’s SPG has surprisingly good reversible capacity without the need for thermal processing which indicates very good natural graphite with a low degree of disorder in its crystal structure,” said Dr. Edward Buiel, founder of Coulometrics.
Northern Graphite is a Canadian company that has a 100 percent interest in the Bissett Creek graphite deposit located in eastern Ontario.
The company explained graphite demand is expected to rapidly increase in the future due to strengthening economies and the growth in new technologies such as Li-ion batteries, particularly due to their use in hybrid and electric vehicles.