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NEO to work with silicon nano-coating technology for battery anode materials

Lithium-ion battery. (Public domain image from Piqsels).

NEO Battery Materials (TSXV: NBM) announced that it entered into a licensing agreement with the University-Industry Foundation of South Korea’s Yonsei University and will be granted an exclusive worldwide license for three patents related to silicon nano-coating technology for battery anode materials.

In a press release, the junior resource company said that the three patents to be licensed include a negative electrode active material for lithium secondary battery, the method to prepare it, and lithium secondary battery comprising the same material.

The second patent involves three-phase titanium dioxide nanoparticles and the method for manufacturing them, while the third patent refers to silicon/polymer composite nanoparticles, anode for lithium secondary battery comprising the nanoparticles, and the method for manufacturing the silicon/polymer composite nanoparticles.

For NEO Battery Materials, silicon is one of the most attractive anode materials because of its exceptionally high energy density

“We strongly believe that our technology has the potential to achieve and realize the improved energy density and superior performance of silicon-based hybrid anodes in lithium-ion batteries,” Spencer Huh, NEO Battery Materials’ CEO, said in the media brief.

“Added with a lean and efficient manufacturing process, NEO will be capable of producing anode materials at a low cost, and the abundance of silicon will allow NEO to be a vertically integrated mining company, establishing a robust value chain that further pushes costs down.”

In Huh’s view, silicon is one of the most attractive anode materials because of its exceptionally high energy density, having more than 9.6 times the gravimetric capacity compared to conventional graphite. 

“However, the volume expansion issue of silicon during lithiation has been the main obstacle for the industry to adopt the technology,” the executive said. “The company believes that the secured technology could manage and resolve this specific issue related to silicon.”

NEO has said that it will focus on exploring and producing silicon at the mining claims it has staked in British Columbia, Canada.

The properties occupy 467 hectares and are along a strike with a quartzite bed, targeting silica in the quartzites.