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Si-anode company Nexeon secures strategic investment and partnership with German chemical company Wacker

Imperial Innovations Group plc announced that its portfolio company Nexeon, a developer of silicon anode materials for Li-ion batteries (earlier post), has signed a strategic partnership agreement with German chemical company Wacker Chemie AG, through which Wacker has taken a strategic stake in Nexeon.

The partnership will involve the two companies working together to scale-up the production of Nexeon’s silicon anode technology to commercial volumes. Wacker has strong research and chemical process capabilities as well as extensive production expertise in speciality materials and will be able to leverage its engineering and manufacturing expertise to accelerate Nexeon’s scale-up plans, the companies said.

Nexeon, a spin-off from Imperial College London and Innovations’ second largest investment to date, is developing silicon materials to replace carbon as the anode of Li-ion batteries. This will lead to the production of rechargeable batteries with higher energy density.

Innovations was the lead investor when Nexeon raised £40 million (US$61 million) in 2011 to establish a high tech manufacturing facility in order to scale-up the production of its materials to a commercial supply level of around 250 tonnes per year. The company’s existing pilot plant in Oxfordshire simulates current battery manufacturing processes, enabling Nexeon to better support battery manufacturers in rapidly adopting the technology through a drop-in approach.

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