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Silicon Anodes: Transforming EV Batteries through Innovative Partnership

Explore the transformative partnership between OneD Battery Science and Koch Modular, advancing silicon anodes for enhanced electric vehicle battery performance.

Maria Guerra, Senior Editor-Battery Technology

January 19, 2024

2 Min Read
Silicon anodes for EV Batteries
Silicon on the periodic table of the elements.PeterHermesFurian/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Silicon is considered important in anode electrodes for electric vehicle (EV) batteries due to its unique properties that can significantly enhance the performance of these batteries. Silicon's higher theoretical capacity for storing lithium contributes to the increased energy density in batteries, potentially extending the driving range of EVs. The higher energy density also allows the production of batteries with equivalent energy storage but reduced weight, which is crucial for enhancing energy efficiency and extending the EV range. Additionally, silicon anodes offer improved performance by delivering higher power output, resulting in enhanced acceleration and overall vehicle performance, which is particularly valuable in applications requiring quick acceleration.

Despite these advantages, there are challenges associated with the use of silicon in anodes. Silicon undergoes significant volume expansion and contraction during the charge-discharge cycles, which can lead to mechanical stress and affect the stability of the battery over time. Researchers and companies are actively working on developing technologies, and so is the case of a new collaboration announced by OneD Battery Science and Koch Modular, aiming to enable large-scale production of silicon-graphite anode materials for the next generation of affordable EVs.

Related:GM, OneD Battery Sciences Team Up for Silicon Anode R&D

This collaboration involves leveraging Koch Modular's silane gas manufacturing expertise and OneD's SINANODE technology to efficiently convert silane into nano-silicon within graphite anode materials. The companies intend to scale up silane anode production by establishing a modular silane plant adjacent to a SINANODE factory. The first integrated North American plant is being designed to produce 20,000 tons of silicon-graphite anode material annually, catering to the batteries of approximately 1,000,000 EVs.

“OneD has a unique approach in reducing risks and costs by placing our silane modular plant adjacent to the SINANODE processing plant and co-locating these two facilities next to EV-grade graphite production and EV cell factories in North America and Europe,” stated George Schlowsky, President at Koch Modular. “Together, we are excited to help scale up silicon-enhanced graphite production and help each customer achieve a more competitive global market position by combining our proven technology platforms.”

The SINANODE technology platform takes a unique approach to silicon anode manufacturing by growing nano-silicon directly in the pores of EV-grade graphite powders. This eliminates the need for a new expensive carbon substrate and increases the performance and value of existing graphite powders qualified by EV cell factories. The manufacturing process is expected to result in lower-cost, smaller EV batteries with longer ranges and a lower carbon footprint.

Related:"Why Nanowires?" – Insights from CEO of OneD Battery Sciences

Vincent Pluvinage, CEO and Co-Founder of OneD Battery Sciences, stated, “This strategic collaboration will enable the North American EV battery supply chain to reduce its dependency on overseas anode material imports and meet the urgent need for OEMs (EV producers) to compete with the next generation of more affordable EVs."

About the Author(s)

Maria Guerra

Senior Editor-Battery Technology, Informa Markets Engineering

Battery Technology Senior Editor Maria L. Guerra is an electrical engineer with a background in Oil & Gas consulting and experience as a Power/Analog Editor for Electronic Design.  Maria graduated from NYU Tandon School of Engineering with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE). She combines her technical expertise with her knack for writing. 

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