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A step closer for graphene-coated anodes

By Mary Page Bailey |

A new collaboration between PPG (Pittsburgh, Pa.; www.ppg.com), SiNode Systems (Chicago, Ill.; www.sinodesystems.com) and Raymor Industries (Boirsbriand, Que., Canada; www.raymor.com) aims to accelerate commercialization for battery anodes made of a silicon-graphene composite. “These materials can achieve significantly higher capacities than current graphite-based anodes, allowing for higher cell-level energy density,” explains Kurt Olson, PPG corporate research fellow. In electric-vehicle batteries, these traits lead to lighter-weight batteries and increase the distance vehicles can travel on a single charge. “Traditionally, the addition of silicon causes a decrease in a battery’s cycle life because the silicon expands during charging and breaks into tiny particles that are no longer effective,” says Olson. Coating silicon particles with a layer of graphene effectively increases the life of batteries. SiNode produces few-layer graphene nanoplatelets from methane via an atom-by-atom, “bottom-up” plasma process. The plasma’s high temperature breaks the methane into carbon atoms and hydrogen, and in a specially designed reactor, the carbon atoms are combined into graphene as they cool. “This continuous manufacturing…
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