Mr. Neil Foran reports
MGX MINERALS ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL SURFACE COATING FOR SI ANODE IN NEXT-GENERATION LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
MGX Minerals Inc.'s collaborative research partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) has developed a new multifunctional surface coating, aluminum oxynitride, by an advanced atomic layer deposition technique. With this thin surface coating, the silicon (Si) anode exhibited dramatically improved specific capacity of 1,200 milliamp hours (mAh) g-1 for 100 cycles at 0.1C, in comparison with 500 mAh g-1 for bare Si anode. This research represents an advancement in the design of artificial solid electrolyte interphase for Si anode. The team is further integrating this novel coating in its existing graphite/silicon anode to make it commercially viable.
The MGX/UBC partnership is targeting to develop highly efficient, long-lasting silicon anode that will aide in the development of next-generation lithium-ion batteries capable of increasing energy density from the current standard of approximately 200 watt hours (Wh) per kilogram (kg) up to 400 Wh per kg for use in long-range electric vehicles and grid-scale energy storage. The project will utilizes low-cost MGX metallurgical-grade silicon as a feedstock to fabricate nanostructured silicon. The company plans to build a laboratory in British Columbia and is actively seeking licensing and electric vehicle manufacturing partners.
About the research initiative
The overall objective of the two-year research program is to develop a low-cost and scalable method that will fabricate a silicon-based anode to improve the energy density of Li-ion batteries. Dr. Jian Liu, assistant professor in the school of engineering at UBC Okanagan, is leading a research group focused on advanced materials for energy storage. Dr. Liu was previously the technical lead for development of surface coating materials by atomic and molecular layer deposition and their applications in surface and interface engineering on the anode and cathode of Li-ion batteries and beyond, at Western University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
MGX silicon projects
MGX operates three silicon projects in southeastern British Columbia -- Koot, Wonah and Gibraltar. A one-tonne sample of quartzite from the company's Gibraltar project was previously shipped to independent lab Dorfner Anzaplan in Germany for mineralogical analyses. Dorfner conducted X-ray diffraction analysis, chemical analyses through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, grain-size distribution, mineral processing analysis, automated optical sorting and thermal stability testing. Results indicated that the material, after comminution and classification fraction, is of high initial purity, making the fraction chemically suitable as medium quality feedstock material for metallurgical-grade silicon production.
About MGX Minerals Inc.
MGX Minerals is a diversified Canadian resource and technology company with interests in global advanced material, energy and water assets.
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