Coreshell’s Silicon Anodes Promise to Increase Capacity of LFP Batteries without Raising Costs

California-based startup Coreshell has proposed a solution for the expense and risk associated with utilising silicon in traction battery anodes. The material is cheaper to use than graphite but can put the accumulator at risk due to its tendency for linear expansion during charging. Coreshell’s concept involves the use of metallurgical-grade silicon which increases LFP battery capacity without raising costs.

As reported by TechCrunch, Coreshell’s team designed a coating for silicon anodes two years ago. This inhibits the silicon structures’ linear expansion during battery charging, thus prolonging the lifespan of the anodes. Paired with a conventional lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode, these anodes aid in the creation of affordably priced batteries with an acceptable charge storage density. Importantly, their production is less dependent on minerals of Chinese origin, which is a significant factor for the U.S. electric vehicle industry given the governmental subsidies program’s preference for EVs with batteries using fewer materials from China.

Coreshell has already contracted Ferroglobe to supply metallurgical-grade silicon. This material is not as expensive as high-purity silicon and less is needed per traction battery than graphite for an accumulator of comparable capacity. These factors could contribute to reducing U.S. automotive industry’s dependence on Chinese imports, as China controls three-quarters of the world graphite market.

From next year, Coreshell plans to supply their anodes to battery-powered motorcycle manufacturers, and eventually hopes to enter the traction battery market for electric vehicles by the end of the decade. The first samples of Coreshell’s products will be sent to customers in 2025.

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