X-MAT, a company that focuses on advanced materials research, is getting closer than ever to producing more powerful batteries by reusing waste graphite that usually ends up in landfills.
Recycled graphite is highly contaminated and previously could not be reused in batteries. However, X-BATT – the battery development arm of X-MAT – says that they have developed a way to recycle waste graphite for reuse. The company is using high-performance polymer technology, along with recycled graphite from spent lithium-ion batteries, to engineer a composite anode that outperforms traditional materials.
“Graphite is not an unlimited resource and the U.S. imports all its battery-grade graphite from foreign countries. X-BATT’s team is combating this challenge by discovering innovative ways to reuse waste graphite and create new batteries that are just as powerful, if not more so, as their traditional counterparts – something many people thought would never be possible,” said Bill Easter, founder of X-BATT.
The reported benefits of this new material do not stop at its increased performance, with the potential for this technology to also lead to a domestic source for anode material, helping the United States reduce reliance on foreign countries for the critical materials necessary to support the increased demand for electrification.
Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to grow, with no signs of it slowing down. Each year, demand is expected to grow by 25 percent resulting in 14x growth by 2030. X-BATT hopes that its discovery can help meet this demand in an eco-friendlier way.
To help further its research, the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) awarded Semplastics, X-BATT’s parent company, a $1 million contract to produce polymer-derived ceramic composite anodes using coal as a carbon source for lithium-ion batteries. The company has discovered that adding a carbon source, such as coal, to the PDC material offers stability and normalises charge/discharge behavior, improving cycling life and decreasing nominal voltage.
“The energy race is in full swing and we are proud to be running full speed toward an eco-friendly, long-term solution to power our world,” said Easter.