Axium Battery Materials

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The Potential Impact of Silicon on Energy Storage

Conventional lithium ion batteries have a core energy density ranging from 150-200 Wh/kg.Despite the advances in manufacturing economies, there has been a real lack of innovation in the development of next generation battery materials. Graphitic carbon anodes only deliver a specific energy density of 300 mAh/g, so there is a real need for materials that can significantly drive energy density. Silicon has a theoretical energy density of 4,200 mAh/g and its inclusion into anode composites could increase cell level or core energy density by 40%. However, silicon presents many challenges to successful commercialization. During lithiation, silicon expands 320%. A silicon anode would need a mechanism to accommodate for this swelling so the structured silicon does not crack and lose its ability to store energy. Silicon represents an opportunity to unlock the possibilities of mobility and electric transportation.

Our battery materials

There are many battery chemistries used to store energy for a broad range of devices, such as consumer electronics, plug-in electric vehicles, medical devices and grid-scale storage systems. Each battery chemistry possesses theoretical levels of energy storage capacities or energy densities. Materials within a battery’s casing drive the electrochemistry, thereby dictating cell-level energy density. Lithium-ion technology has become the predominant rechargeable battery chemistry within this industry due to its ability to store more energy than incumbent rechargeable technologies, such as nickel metal hydride. Despite its growth, lithium-ion batteries are constrained by minimal improvements (1-2%/year) to cell-level energy density. This is mainly a function of the limitations of the microscale materials used to fabricate the battery’s electrodes and separators. Axium’s nanocomposite technology enables a disruptive shift in cell-level energy density of lithium-ion batteries through the use of nanostructed material compositions and morphologies.

Axium has successfully developed a high-capacity composite alloy anode material with breakthrough energy density. This composite anode material has stable retention and can be produced at volume in a pilot scale system. The Company’s R&D team has also developed novel separator materials that have been shown in full cell testing to outperform the state-of-the-art materials currently used in commercial lithium-ion batteries. Axium is developing a full pipeline of battery materials for a range of lithium battery chemistries, such as lithium ion, lithium sulfur and lithium air.

 

The Size & Growth of the Lithium Ion Battery Materials Market

EV materials as a pipeline opportunity

Axium’s lithium ion battery materials could further drive down the cost of stored energy within the battery pack used to power electric vehicles or EVs. Today, battery power costs approximately $0.30 per watt-hour or $300 per kilowatt-hour. Tesla and Panasonic are attempting to drive those costs down with far larger economies of scale. Market research estimates that battery packs for EVs may decrease to below $0.17 per watt-hour by the year 2020. However, significant cost reductions could be realized through the advent of breakthrough materials that could significantly increase cell-level energy density and also power density, while improving safety. Axium has established a cost target of less than $0.15 per watt-hour plus a large increase in range for the EVs that use batteries comprised of Axium’s patented anode and separator materials. These innovations could enable EV manufacturers to deliver extended range at a far lower price to the consumer, thus stimulating far more demand for EVs, EV batteries and EV battery materials.

Advanced battery chemistries

Axium has been building a strong pipeline of advanced battery chemistries that have yet to be commercialized by industry. These R&D efforts are aimed at bringing to market battery technologies capable of storing far more energy than even the most advanced lithium-ion batteries. Axium is committed to leveraging its highly innovative nanocomposite platform to address the difficult challenges of commercializing new battery chemistries in order to meet the growing need of our customers across many industries for better energy storage solutions.

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