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Fueling the Future: Coal Finds New Purpose as a Value-Added Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries

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Fueling the Future: Coal Finds New Purpose as a Value-Added Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries






New Anode Material Achieves Over 1000 Cycles in Large Format 18650 Cells



X-BATT® and Semplastics are proud to announce the successful completion of a research and development project that explores and scales up the use of coal as a value-added material for anodes in lithium-ion batteries.


The use of lithium-ion batteries has been growing rapidly, driven by demand for EVs and renewable energy storage. These batteries rely on graphite, which is almost exclusively imported from foreign countries, primarily China. However, our research has demonstrated that coal could be a domestically sourced alternative or supplement to graphite as an anode active material.



“We are excited to have completed this project, which has the potential to make a huge impact,” said Bill Easter, CEO. “The use of coal as a value-added material not only provides a domestic source for anodes but creates a new market for coal. We are grateful for the support of the Department of Energy and the NETL, who made this project possible.”



The Battery Innovation Center scaled and tested this technology in 18650 cells, which are used in many commercial applications. This significant milestone in development demonstrates the technology is commercially viable and can be produced on a large scale, utilizing existing equipment and processes.



Discharge capacity retention is the the ability of a cell to retain capacity after many charge and discharge cycles. Results from the first 18650 cells that were made using coal showed a retention capacity of 80% after 1,000 cycles of being fully charged and fully discharged, showcasing it’s promising cycle life capabilities.



“We are thankful to have partnered with the Battery Innovation Center through this effort,” said Kyle Marcus, Director of Battery R&D. “Their expertise and facilities were invaluable in making this project a success.”



“The demand for lithium-ion batteries is going to continue to increase and is expected to outpace the supply of graphite,” said Easter. “Our materials can meet this demand in a more eco-friendly way and should lead to a domestic sources for anode materials, helping the U.S. reduce reliance on foreign countries for the critical materials needed to support the growing demand for electrification.”



About X-BATT®



Established in 2019, X-BATT® focuses on leveraging its patented technology for high-capacity, low-cost, scalable lithium-ion battery components and provides customized, cutting-edge solutions that will allow the renewable energy future to be fully realized.



About The Battery Innovation Center:



The Battery Innovation Center is a public-private partnership (P3) nonprofit organization located in south-west central Indiana.  It is home to a world-class, state-of-the-art, 40,000 sq. ft. facility with advanced capability for next-generation battery research, new product development, low-volume battery cell fabrication, industry leading electrochemical/EHS testing, and accredited training. The BIC focuses on the rapid commercialization of safe, reliable, lower cost, and lighter-weight energy storage systems alongside partners from industry (Startups to OEMs), DoD/DoE, and Academia.




About X-MAT®


X-MAT®, the Advanced Materials Division of Semplastics, launched in 2013. X-MAT® developed a revolutionary, high-performance material that combines some of the best properties of metals (electrical conductivity), engineering plastics (lightweight) and ceramics (high operating temperature). X-MAT® has had several partnerships including work with NASA, Space Florida and the NETL. X-MAT®’s game-changing material has various current applications including fireproof roof tiles, lightweight space mirrors, battery electrodes and 3D printed ceramics. X-MAT® technology can be custom-engineered to fit many specifications and has unlimited potential market applications.


Posted June 14, 2023

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