OneD Battery Life Sciences has teamed up with Koch Modular Process Systems in a strategic partnership to produce silicon-graphite anode materials for electric vehicles on a large scale.
The two companies are currently designing the first integrated North American manufacturing plant to produce 20,000 tons of silicon-graphite anode material per year, which is enough for the batteries for about 1 million EVs annually. OneD Battery Life Sciences is the developer of the SINANODE technology platform, a technology that successfully manufactures nano-silicon to increase the energy density and lower the cost of anode electrodes in EV batteries.
According to OneD, its technology takes a “fundamentally different approach to silicon anode manufacturing.” Koch Modular designs and constructs modular systems for the global chemical processing industry.
Their partnership comes as the EV market in the United States is beginning to take shape. As more infrastructure is planned and built and carmakers take on more models to meet expected demand, battery production and the critical materials for lithium-ion batteries are also rising in demand.
Silicon is an important material for EV batteries, as it increases the energy density of EV batteries, reducing weight and increasing EV range. However, silicon technologies are still considered expensive for millions of affordable EVs, and mass adoption of silicon anode is dependent on finding ways for silicon use to reduce the cost of EV batteries, according to the two companies.
“Koch Modular is the right partner to quickly increase the production scale and reduce the costs of silicon anode materials,” Vincent Pluvinage, CEO and co-founder of OneD Battery Sciences, said in the announcement. “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.”
OneD will leverage Koch Modular’s silane gas manufacturing expertise in the partnership with SINANODE technology to efficiently convert silane into nano-silicon inside graphite anode materials qualified by EV cell makers. The two companies plan to scale silane anode production by placing a modular silane plant adjacent to a SINANODE factory to process and add silicon inside EV-grade graphite powders from industrial suppliers, they said.
OneD’s method “removes the need to manufacture a new expensive carbon substrate to host silicon,” making the scalable process low-cost and producing smaller EV batteries with longer range.
“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,” said 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.”
OneD’s SINANODE pilot facility in Moses Lake, Washington, will support the EV battery qualification process for OEMs beginning in early 2024 while large-scale production plants are completed.