PPG has entered into a partnership with SiNode Systems to accelerate the commercialization of high-energy silicon-graphene anode materials for advanced battery applications in electric vehicles. The 30-month project will enable the partners to rapidly develop and demonstrate anode materials that will store more energy than conventional lithium-ion battery materials, enabling electric vehicles to travel farther on a single charge or to have a lighter-weight battery.
In 2016, SiNode was selected among several competitors to receive a contract for the project from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), which is providing 50% of the project’s funding through the US Department of Energy. (Earlier post.) Project partners are funding the remaining 50%.
SiNode technology utilizes a composite of silicon and graphene in a layered structure, which was developed, optimized, and patented in collaboration with researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory.
Whereas current graphite-based anodes offer a capacity of 372 mAh/g, SiNode material can be customized to achieve capacities between 1000 mAh/g and more than 2500 mAh/g, delivering higher cell level energy density. In addition, in-plane nano-engineered porosity is introduced to the graphene layers, allowing rapid ionic diffusion through the structure for faster charging.
The project will focus on improving the stability and scalability of SiNode’s anode materials to meet or exceed USABC targets for a battery’s active materials, which store the energy. Raymor Industries will provide graphene to PPG, which will then prepare the material for SiNode. PPG will help both Raymor and SiNode scale up their manufacturing processes to production volumes to support the project.
Partnering with PPG will allow us to accelerate the commercialization of our battery materials platform for a wide range of markets, from consumer electronics to electric vehicles.—Samir Mayekar, SiNode co-founder and CEO
We believe SiNode’s technology has great potential to benefit the battery market, and we appreciate this opportunity for collaboration. Boosting the range and reducing the weight of electric vehicles through batteries that store more energy will increase the practicality of, and consumer interest in, these cars. Applying PPG technology to help improve the sustainability of products, such as electric vehicles, is a strategic goal for us, and we are pleased to participate in this project.—Kurt Olson, PPG research fellow
PPG’s current goal is to have 40% of its total sales derived from sustainable products by 2020. The company met its initial 30 percent goal five years ahead of schedule in 2015.