From a manufacturing plant 85km south of Sydney, a local startup is producing materials for the likes of Tesla, Panasonic and Samsung.
Sicona Battery Technologies is commercialising a next-generation silicon anode to improve the energy density of the current lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, which are used for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.
The company was founded by entrepreneur Christiaan Jordaan and materials scientist Andrew Minett in 2019 after acquiring research into the material concept from the University of Wollongong.
From that first concept and single patent, the company has expanded its global patent landscape to 120 patents and patent applications across nine separate families, and a 26-person strong team.
After recently closing a $22 million Series A funding round, the startup has its eyes on an expansion around Australia and into the US.
The company has developed a simple and robust process for the manufacture of high-performance silicon graphite composite anode and polymer binder materials.
The next-generation battery materials are used in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries, which in turn are used in electric-mobility and the storage of renewable energy.
From its pilot plant in Wollongong, Sicona Battery Technologies is servicing Tier 1 battery cell manufacturers such as Panasonic, LG Energy and Samsung, and customers such as Tesla and consumer electronic manufacturers.
Its technology has a 50 to 100 per cent higher capacity than conventional graphite anodes and its anode materials can deliver more than 50 per cent higher cell energy density than the current lithium-ion batteries.
This is thanks to its hydrophilic-based binder, which has a 3D-network structure, and this improves electro-conductivity and self-healing properties that increase the cycle of next-generation anodes. This is all done thanks to using off-the-shelf technology.
The company’s recent funding round was led by India’s Himadri Speciality Chemical Limited, Artesian and Electrification and Decarbonisation AIE LP. This came on the back of a $3.7 million pre-Series A round in August 2021.
The funding will be used to rapidly accelerate expansion plans across the world, with a commercial demonstration plant built in Wollongong.
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