Calix (ASX:CXL) has launched its BATMn reactor at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, which will create materials for next-generation lithium ion battery projects.
The $2.7 million plant was commissioned in August and officially launched on Thursday by senator David Van. It uses Calix’s core technology, a “flash calcination” process, which is applied to magnesite to create “mineral honeycomb” in Calix’s range of products for agriculture, infrastructure and other markets. The method rapidly heats ground minerals at up to 950 degrees celsius, releasing trapped gases and creating porous “nano-active” materials with a very high surface area.
“The rapid growth in electric vehicles and renewable energy is creating a global need for more efficient, cheaper, higher-capacity and more sustainable energy storage options. While a large part of this growth has been enabled through the performance of lithium-ion batteries, the issues around the cost, capacity, safety and sustainability of current lithium-ion batteries will increasingly limit this growth,” said CEO Phil Hodgson in a statement.
“There is a need for advanced materials for lithium-ion batteries that deliver superior performance and safety at lower cost while at the same time reducing environmental impact. With BATMn, and our expanded network of research institutes and major industrial players, this exactly what Calix is trying to achieve.”
The reactor has been supported by the Australian government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund. Calix is a participant in multiple collaborative R&D projects in Australia and overseas. This includes the Australian Research Council $6.5m StorEnergy industrial innovation training centre, the Calix-led $9.4m CRC-P for Advanced Hybrid Batteries, and the EU Horizon 2020-backed project at Heidelberg Cement’s Belgian factory on carbon capture for cement making.
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