Australian graphite used in full-cell batteries

Fully functional and commercially scalable full-cell lithium-ion batteries have been successfully assembled and validated for performance.

The batteries use Archer Exploration Limited’s Campoona graphite at the anode and commercially equivalent materials and chemistries used in the cathode.

Archer’s collaboration agreement with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) led to the development of full-cell lithium-ion batteries, marking suitability for use in electric vehicle and consumer electronic markets with batteries created using three commonly used cathode variants: lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC), lithium-iron phosphate (LFP), and lithium-cobalt oxide (LCO).

“The speed in which we are able to deliver such exceptional outcomes is testament to the strong technical leadership and culture of excellence at Archer,” Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said.

“Collaboration with UNSW has greatly accelerated our advance in the battery space.

“We are now able to demonstrate complete, functioning, and commercially relevant batteries with Archer’s graphite.

“We have reached a major milestone towards integrating our substantial graphite resource in the lithium-ion battery supply chain.”

Archer’s 99 per cent acid-leached graphite from Campoona was used with no further optimisation.

The NMC and LCO cathode chemistries were prepared at UNSW, while the LFP cathode materials used were commercially sourced.

All synthesis, fabrication, characterisation and testing was carried out at UNSW.

“It is important that we formulated, built, and tested full-cell batteries using Campoona graphite using different cathode chemistries, as there is no one industry standard cathode for lithium-ion batteries, with different manufacturers using different chemistries,” Dr Choucair said.

“The work definitively shows that Archer’s graphite can be used in conjunction with different types of cathodes, making it suitable for multiple potential battery markets.”

The next steps for Archer will be focusing on addressing the trade-off between cost and battery performance, building off this scalable proof-of-production, as they continue to target partnerships with lithium ion battery manufacturers to scale and integrate Campoona graphite further downstream in the supply chain which would require thousands of tonnes of graphite Archer has access to through a mining lease granted in December 2017.