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“Cracking the onion”

Making better batteries

Matt Boot Handford \ July 28, 2021

We have continued to optimise our lithium manganese oxide (LMO) technology for lithium-ion battery cathodes.

This is a far lower energy route (approximately 6 times less*) than conventional LMO production and is producing “onion-ring” like structures in the tiny crystals.Through our BATMn Technology, we have now optimised a technique for producing manganese oxide and “lithiating” (adding lithium) through a lithium hydroxide solution (a “salt soak”) followed by a significantly shortened heating step.

The materials produced are similar in structure to the best lab-scale, exotic nano-derived materials reported in scientific literature. These structures are well-known for their superior performance. Calix’s materials, produced at a much lower cost, are starting to emulate this performance, being well above the best performing commercial materials.

*(assuming energy requirements are propositional to lithiation time)

Dr Matt Boot-Handford – On the chemistry of Calix materials for lithium-ion batteries

“We are trying to develop processes technologies materials that look to transition us to a much more sustainable and responsible future”

Matt Boot-Handford manages Calix’s role in a variety of collaborative research programs including: storEnergy: the Australian Research Council funded Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies; POLYSTORAGE: the EU funded training centre developing solid state batteries; and the Calix-led CRC-P for Advanced Hybrid Batteries.

Lab-produced lithium manganese oxide (LMO)

Schematic and correspoding SEM images supporting the growth mechanism of onion-like lithium manganese oxide (LMO) crystalline structure

Calix to invest another $4.5m into battery development

This additional capital will be used to accelerate the growth of our advanced battery R&D program, enhance the scope of the materials being tested, and commence commercial discussions with battery materials and battery assembly entities.

Electrode coating, coin cell assembly and electro-chemical testing equipment.

Expand pouch cell testing and battery pack development program, to avoid the need for industrial partner funding, and to strengthen our commercial leverage.

New, fully equipped and fit-for-purpose battery laboratory with skilled operators.

Expanded reactor capability to fully exploit processing advantages of the BATMn technology.

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