In a jointpress release dated March 29, Elcora Advanced Materials Corp., , , Metals of Africa Ltd., Coulometrics LLC and an unnamedprivate industry partner said they are jointly acquiring a micronizing andspheronizing mill to produce spherical graphite, or SPG, a critical step towardthe production of anode material used in lithium ion batteries.
The millwill be added to Coulometrics's battery production and test facility.Coulometrics has already done considerable work to produce SPG and to evaluate differentsuppliers of spheronizing equipment. Northern Graphite has supported most ofCoulometrics' work and has agreed to share to the participating companies itscurrent knowledge on spheronizing.
All of theparticipating companies will share in any spheronizing technology that will bedeveloped.
Thespheronizing equipment will be used to evaluate and optimize the yield of SPGfrom various graphite mine concentrates, and to develop next-generation andhigh-yield spheronization technology. This, the companies said, will meet thedemanding cost targets for automotive lithium ion batteries applications.
The endgoal for all the parties is to achieve full qualification of their materials bylithium ion battery manufacturing companies.
Edward Buiel,owner of Coulometrics, will lead the development and testing process.
"Theaddition of the spheronizing equipment will enable us to produce and testcoated spherical purified graphite [or C-SPG] from end to end within NorthAmerica. This will rapidly advance our C-SPG development efforts and, webelieve, it is the first real effort by junior graphite companies to addressthe needs of the lithium ion batteries industry," Buiel said.
"Italso demonstrates the commitment of those involved to develop next generation,high performance anode materials for lithium ion batteries which will provide asignificant cost advantage and a greatly reduced environmental impact. Theywill also represent a major improvement over methods currently employed inChina," Buiel added.