Phoenix, Arizona, October 30, 2018 — Some of the world’s most important players in the energy storage industry came together in October at Graphite + Anodes 2018. The two-day event was part of Benchmark Minerals Week at Newport Beach, California. They were gathered to discuss new technologies and global supply chains.
One presenter at the event was David Flanagan, Managing Director of Battery Minerals (ASX: BAT) a publicly traded graphite mining development and minerals company dedicated to exploring for and developing graphite mineral deposits in Mozambique. During Flanagan’s talk, he showcased the successes the company has had with the proprietary purification and spheroidization techniques developed and applied by Urbix Resources at the company’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Mesa, Arizona.
Flanagan reported that Urbix had recently successfully purified graphite for Battery Minerals with a very good outcome, both for the environmentally friendly techniques that had been used and the purity of the results.
The tests were done on graphite sourced from Battery Minerals’ Montepuez Graphite Project in Mozambique and included all flake size fractions to >99.95% total graphitic carbon, then went on to produce remarkably high-quality spherical graphite particles with a yield in excess of 75 percent. This is an exciting outcome because standard spheroidization results in 30 to 40 percent yields. In addition, the high level of spherocity (not potato shaped), ideal D50 particle size distribution, and effective “folding” of the graphite edge planes add up to a very suitable candidate for the lithium-ion battery market. This is expected to result in longer total cycle life for the battery. The unique combination of Urbix’s low-cost purification, Flanagan told those assembled, and high-yield spheroidization results in a very real economic advantage, even over China who dominates more than 90 percent of this portion of the graphite market today.
“At Urbix, we have moved far beyond antiquated refining methods and focused on a sustainable future,” says Urbix co-founder, Adam Small. “The Urbix method does not use hydrofluoric acid or high-energy consuming graphite refining methods for li-ion battery cell anode production. This offers profound economic and environmental advantages over petroleum-based synthetic graphite.”
In addition to the work Urbix has produced for Battery Minerals, the company has proven their purification technology on natural graphite materials sourced from every producing continent, potentially comprising one third of the world’s current and future natural graphite production.
“The anode materials we are producing are exceptional and at a significantly lower cost,” says Urbix CTO, Dr. Palash Gangopadhyay. “We compare and validate our material qualities with proven characterization techniques and side-by-side with materials made by the industry giants in China.”
Already working closely with the US Department of Energy, Urbix is on track to become one of the most prominent providers of li-ion battery grade anode materials in the United States and abroad. Further vetting and supply chain optimization is now underway with Urbix’s global partners.