Kinaltek, an innovation company specialising in disruptive technologies for production of metal alloy powders, has announced a major breakthrough in the development of KINSIL™, its patented technology for low-temperature direct production of silicon nanoparticles.
Kinaltek’s technology capabilities have been extended to allow direct production of silicon nanowires and silicon-carbon composites, in addition to nanoparticles, all starting from silica powder, such as precipitated silica or fumed silica, and has now been demonstrated the technology on a kilogram scale.
This ground-breaking development marks an important milestone on the road to next-gen batteries, paving the way for economic and sustainable production of high performance nanosilicon for use in lithium-ion batteries.
In addition to its existing patent portfolio, Kinaltek has filed three international patent applications covering the technology. It will produce silicon anode materials for large-scale anode and battery manufacturers worldwide, enabling them to achieve high-density energy storage at a disruptively low cost for both the economy and environment.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Kinaltek CEO and Founder Dr. Jawad Haidar said: “The ability of KinSil™ to produce low-cost silicon nanowires and carbon-coated nanosilicon can be a game changer for lithium batteries. High performance nanowires and C-Si nanocomposites produced at a fraction of current prices can disrupt the energy storage market.” Dr Haidar is the founder of Kinaltek and inventor of Kinaltek’s direct reduction technology.
The new patented technology is based on Kinaltek’s integrated process to make metallic materials from metal oxides in one step. The technology converts silica powder into battery-grade silicon without the need for specialist materials or costly processes frequently used by other companies, contributing to its low costs and carbon footprint.
The one-step process is also ‘tuneable’, allowing the production of silicon nanowires, silicon-carbon composites and nanoparticle products that can be adjusted to suit specific customer requirements by controlling morphology and allowing for in situ particle coating.
Global demand for lithium batteries for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and other mobile applications is skyrocketing. As those technologies improve, their need for higher-density energy storage grows.
Kinaltek’s cutting edge technology helps solve the economic and environmental nuisances of manufacturing high-quality batteries for electric vehicles and consumer electronics companies. The invention opens the door to a new era of technological advancement, with the production of higher-capacity energy storage at an affordable price, together with minimal environmental impact, meaning the benefits of higher-capacity energy storage can be more accessible to all markets.
The energy storage capacity of lithium batteries is inherently limited by their graphite anode, capable of storing around 300mAh per gram of graphite. The specific capacity of the anodes in advanced lithium-silicon batteries using nanosilicon materials can be several times higher. Kinaltek is aiming to bring enhanced high performance nanosilicon to market with energy density up to 1400 mAh/g at a price that is competitive with graphite for the first time.
The superior attributes of simplicity, agility and low cost of Kinaltek’s technology will provide manufacturers with a choice from high-performance Silicon nanopowder, nanowires and Carbon-Silicon nanocomposites to accommodate their products and processes.
KinSil™ is currently the only technology in the world capable of economic and sustainable production of these materials at less than 1/20th of current prices and with less than 1/5th of the carbon footprint of existing technologies.