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Calix’s advanced battery materials development program – charging ahead!

Making Better Batteries

Matt Boot Handford \ September 22, 2020

The Calix battery R&D team along with its CRC-P for Advanced Hybrid Batteries project partners – Deakin University and Boron Molecular – have been working hard to develop high performance, low-cost and sustainable electrode materials for lithium ion batteries using Calix Flash Calcination compatible processing.

The project is now reaching the 12-month mark and making significant headway having already identified several strong candidate lithium manganese oxide cathode materials. These materials are now being put through their paces at Deakin University’s prototyping facility – BatTRI-hub – in both full coin and pouch cell formats to provide a deeper understanding as to how these materials perform over long-term charge-discharge cycle testing as well as high rate and elevated temperature testing. The Calix team are now focused on further optimisation of its electrode formulations and scale up of the electrode manufacturing process. The CRC-P partners have entered discussions with
global cell manufacturers with the capability to scale up cell production and manufacture battery packs featuring Calix electrode materials for field and customer trials to be run later next year.

The Calix R&D team also welcomes Drs Dabin Wang and Lakshmi Vazhapully who joined Calix from Monash and Deakin Universities in February and May of this year as Battery and Catalyst Materials Engineers. We have also seen the Site Projects Engineer, Terrance Banks, expand his role to take on the additional responsibility of Chief Plant Operator and Engineer for the BatMn pilot plant.

With CRC-P funding, Calix has also been able to refurbish its labs and establish a dedicated space for battery materials R&D at its Bacchus Marsh production facility in Victoria, Australia with expanded capabilities to include X-ray diffraction, rapid surface area analysis and battery testing instruments for high throughput screening and characterisation of its battery materials.

Calix continues to be an active member and supporter of the ARC funded Industrial Innovations Training Centre storEnergy as well as the EU funded POLYSTORAGE training centre supporting projects at Monash, QUT and Deakin Universities on next generation lithium and post lithium ion battery technologies. Calix has also established a placement opportunity at the Bacchus Marsh production facility which provides storEnergy students with valuable industrial experience. Meisam Hasan who is studying for his PhD at Deakin University through the storEnergy training centre under the supervision of Profs Maria Forsyth and Pat Howlett becomes the first student to take up this opportunity.

Calix is also a key participant in the recently established future batteries industries cooperative research centre (FBICRC) and is engaging with the research providers and industry participants to develop a set of integrated projects needed to accelerate the growth of a world leading battery industry sector in Australia.

Dr Dabin Wang loading cathode precursor materials into the laboratory tube furnace as part of the cathode materials development and optimisation R&D programme.

Dr Lakshmi Vazhapully running XRD characterisation on samples in the newly refurbished battery materials development labs at Calix’s Bacchus Marsh production facility.

Calix BATMn Reactor – a game-changer for advanced battery research.

Back to the opening ceremony of the BATMn reactor, designed to make a range of nano-active materials for advanced batteries, where the need for precision control of the process conditions is critical for electrochemical performance.

BATMn will be a key provider of next-generation electrode materials for the recently announced CRC-P for Advanced Hybrid Batteries which Calix leads in collaboration the Institute for Frontier Materials and BAT-TRI Hub at Deakin University and specialist chemicals manufacturer Boron Molecular Ltd Pty.

Watch the highlights of the BATMn opening ceremony and full interviews of our partners.

BATMn Partners

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