Sicona silicon anode & binder pilot plant receives Australian Government support

Sicona Battery Technologies Pty Ltd., a Sydney based battery technology company, announced today that it has received a commitment for $704,382 in matched grant funding under the Australian Federal Government’s “Accelerating Commercialisation1” program.

Accelerating Commercialisation support will be used to help Sicona build a pilot manufacturing plant to demonstrate the capacity to scale-up the manufacturing process of its silicon carbon composite and multi-functional polymer binder materials in response to growing demand from the global lithium-ion battery industry.

Sicona is one of fourteen Australian businesses, and the only clean technology related recipient, that received a total of $8 million in grant funding from the November 2020 funding round.

Sicona is an advanced manufacturer, producing complex materials with applications in the large and rapidly growing energy storage/battery industry which, in turn, services global vehicle, energy storage and consumer electronics markets. At present there is no battery anode materials production within Australia. As the first Australian company of its kind, Sicona will generate and grow new capabilities within Australia to produce advanced battery anode materials and technology. This project is a unique opportunity for Australia to participate in the value-added sector of the lithium-ion battery supply chain.

Battery anode materials are currently produced in China, Japan & Korea with producers heavily reliant on China for raw material supply and processing. Sicona’s successful commercialisation of its technology will provide the world with an alternative source of these critical materials and reduce both Australia’s and the world’s reliance upon a monopoly supplier in the lithium-ion battery materials supply chain. Increased competition in the lithium-ion battery field will drive further improvements and lower costs as we build to a clean energy future for Australia and the world.

Sicona founder and CEO, Christiaan Jordaan commented “We are deeply grateful to the Australian Federal Government for this vote of confidence in Sicona. This important financial support will enable us to further our efforts to develop leadingedge silicon carbon composite and multifunctional polymer binder materials for the lithium-ion battery market. Our technology has been demonstrated to increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by up to 233% and at a lower cost than comparable technologies, and we are confident that we will continue to make significant progress in bringing our technology to the growing global market.

This substantial funding support from the Australian Federal Government together with the significant investment Sicona received from our major investors, Artesian and EnergyLab in May and August 2020, will accelerate our ability to develop our technology at commercial scale through the construction and operation of our pilot plant in Wollongong, NSW.

Given the exceptional breadth of materials science talent and intellectual property emanating from our world class Universities, we believe that Australia can play a much larger part in the fast-growing market for next generation battery materials.

Sicona has already commenced developing partnerships with battery manufacturers and miners and manufacturers of silicon, graphite, carbon and polymers and the company will now be able to rapidly advance our development plans.”

About Sicona

Sicona Battery Technologies (Sicona) is a Sydney based battery technology company. Sicona develops next generation battery technology used in the anodes (negative electrodes) of lithium-ion (“Li-ion”) batteries that enable electric-mobility and storage of renewable energy. Sicona is commercialising innovative siliconcomposite battery anode and binder technology, developed and perfected over the last ten years at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM). Sicona’s silicon-composite anodes deliver up to 233% higher capacity than conventional “graphite-only” batteries and its anode materials can deliver more than 50% higher cell energy density than current Li-ion batteries. Sicona uses off the shelf equipment in a highly scalable and efficient manufacturing process to produce its active anode materials and polymer binders.

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