Nouveau Monde Graphite (TSXV: NOU) and Forge Nano signed a collaboration agreement that will allow Nouveau to use Forge Nano’s proprietary Atomic Laser Disposition-coating technologies.
In a press release, the companies said that the coating of spherical graphite is the last process step needed to complete Nouveau Monde’s graphite-based product range for the EV and renewable energy sectors.
“Partnering with Forge Nano will enable Nouveau Monde to market an active anode material that is optimized for each battery system, using different cathode and electrolyte chemistries,” Eric Desaulniers, Nouveau Monde’s president and CEO, said in the media brief.
“This coating layer will play a pivotal role in matching ion-exchange compatibility, that will drive battery performance beyond what is currently known.”
According to Desaulniers, the ALD coating is effective in lithium-ion battery materials because when added to anode powders, cathode powders, solid-state electrolyte powders, and separator materials, or the combination thereof, it increases cycle life and reduces capacity fade, while at the same time increasing ionic or electronic conductivity.
The executive also said that the coating provides lithium-ion battery materials with greater stability under high voltage operation, greater capacity retention under fast charging, greater stability under high-temperature storage and extremely low and high-temperature operation conditions.
To ensure its products have all of these capabilities, Nouveau Monde will supply Forge Nano with test batches of spherical graphite to determine the optimal ALD operational parameters. Once this is completed, the Canadian company will purchase a first ALD module from Forge Nano, which will be added to its battery anode material demonstration plant in Québec.
In the interim, Forge will collaborate in the design and specifications of ALD equipment for Nouveau’s commercial operation, which is expected to produce 40,000 tonnes per year of battery anode material.
The graphite that will feed this operation will come from the company’s Matawinie property, located in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Québec, and whose West Zone Trench hosts 59.8 million tonnes of mineral resources grading 4.35% graphitic carbon in the indicated category using a cut-off grade of 2.20% Cg.