Sparc Technologies and QUT take aim at battery market

Technology development company Sparc Technologies and the Queensland University of Technology have agreed to jointly develop a process for producing hard carbon using low cost green bio-waste.

The Adelaide company, which is developing graphene technologies and uses, aims to produce the material for next generation sodium ion batteries which are seen as having potential in grid storage and mobile uses.

Hard carbon or char is a solid form of carbon that cannot be converted to graphite by heat-treatment, even at temperatures as high as 3000 degrees Celsius.

Sparc is also developing a thermo-photocatalytic technology for producing green hydrogen without the use of energy-hungry electrolysis.

The company and QUT have entered into a strategic partnership in a long term umbrella agreement which will see Sparc have first right of refusal to commercialise technologies they develop.

The two will jointly identify and undertake new projects.

Managing director Mike Bartels said the company was excited to begin with a battery anode project proving a novel hard carbon production process.

Bartels said: “Using readily available, sustainable bio-waste material will provide Sparc with a strong environmental value proposition when compared to conventional sources of hard carbon.

“In addition to enhanced safety for industrial scale energy storage, of great significance is the fact that the materials used in sodium ion batteries are accessible and not challenged in supply as is the case with lithium ion batteries.”

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Picture: Sparc Technologies

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