LeydenJar, a Dutch developer of ultra-thin, pure silicon battery anodes, has secured the funding to build its first factory to produce silicon anode foil. The company will invest €60 million in the construction of its first production facility, called “Plant One”, of which €30 million comes from a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan facility. The plant will have a production capacity of 100 MWh.
LeydenJar produces its silicon anodes via a high-throughput plasma vapor deposition process, growing pure silicon columns on a copper substrate. The sponge-like columns are porous and flexible—effectively mitigating the problematic swelling of the silicon during lithiation—and lead to a high anode area loading, enabling energy density up to 1,350 Wh/l or 380 Wh/kg at lithiated stack level, while preventing breakage.
LeydenJar has demonstrated production of its anode material at pilot plant scale. Now, the EIB’s financing will help it to develop and install a set of larger machines to demonstrate the first-of-its-kind production of the anode material at industrial scale.
This financing is supported by the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects of the European Commission, funded by EU’s research & innovation framework program. The rest of the financing comes from LeydenJar’s client projects, earlier committed grants and the Series A investment round in 2021.
The production facility is expected to be built in the province of Noord-Brabant, creating employment locally, and should be fully operational by 2026. The aim of the plant is to prepare the silicon anode foil for mass production, subsequently bringing down the cost.
In 2021, LeydenJar already obtained €22 million in funding, and now the EU-backed €30-million loan from the EIB will support the company’s industrialization. By funding the installation and operation of machines for the production of LeydenJar’s proven technology concept, to be used in the manufacturing of advanced lithium-ion battery cells, the company will demonstrate serial production at scale.
LeydenJar’s innovative silicon anode foil allows batteries to store 70% more energy than the currently common graphite anode foil, while being extremely thin. The company is working with partners to apply the technology in next-generation consumer electronics, electronic vehicles and e-flight applications. Importantly from an environmental point of view, the application also reduces CO2 emissions of anode production by 85%.
greenSPEED. Together with partners including BMW and VARTA, LeydenJar is working on the development of European-made sustainable batteries for electric vehicles. The project main target is developing a battery cell that aims at significantly increasing energy density while reducing energy consumption by almost a third and production costs up to 20% as compared to state-of-the-art Li-ion cells.
LeydenJar develops and supplies the pure silicon anode foils. These will be integrated in the EV battery, with the other innovative battery components. LeydenJar is also closely involved in the integration.
The partnership project is known as greenSPEED and runs until 2025. The consortium combines a mix of leading expertise from the automotive industry, specialized technology companies, research institutes and knowledge centres from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg. In total, 11 parties are involved in greenSPEED.
In addition to its unique silicon anode, LeydenJar is contributing sustainable production know-how.