Next-generation battery material ‘exceeds expectations’

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A £10m (US$13m) project that is developing silicon materials to create greater performing lithium-ion batteries has announced that it has already produced batteries with enhanced life and energy density.

As part of the SUNRISE project, UK-based battery materials company Nexeon has revealed that it has produced results that are “exceeding expectations” and it is only halfway through the research.

Its silicon enhanced batteries are designed to create the next generation of lithium-ion battery technology, which is an essential step to achieving electric vehicles (EVs) with greater range. In addition, the battery breakthrough will be able to enhance the life of consumer electronics products and energy storage systems.

In a further development, a prototype reactor has been built and is operational, and progress has been made to ramp up production capability.

The work is supported by £7m in Innovate UK funding, and the other partners in the project are polymer company Synthomer and UCL.

“The excellent progress we have been making in this project has enabled us to accelerate scale-up ahead of our original plan,” said Dr Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. “We are very pleased with the support we have received from Innovate UK, as well as from UK and global OEMs, and we are eagerly awaiting additional feedback from the evaluation of materials produced.”

The project, named SUNRISE after ‘Synthomer, UCL & Nexeon’s Rapid Improvement in the Storage of Energy’, began in 2018, and is developing better battery materials based on silicon as a replacement for carbon in the cell anode, and optimizing cell designs for specific applications.

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