Indiana battery R&D centre to assess PGM chemistries

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The Battery Innovation Centre in Indiana, USA

Platinum Group Metals says Lion Battery Technologies, its four-year-old alliance with Anglo American Platinum, has engaged the Indiana-based Battery Innovation Centre (BIC) to help drive commercialisation of new platinum and palladium-based battery chemistries.

Platinum Group says Lion is advancing proprietary lithium-sulphur and enhanced lithium-ion (NMC) technology using the catalytic properties of platinum and palladium.

BIC has worked with the likes of Solid Power, BrightVolt, Fisker, Rolls Royce, DuPont, Valvoline, LG Chem, UL Solutions, GE Global Research, Cummins, Semplastics, and Alkegen at its 40,000-feet R&D facility at Newberry, opened a decade ago.

It will conduct independent small and large-scale trials to validate Lion’s proprietary platinum and palladium-based electrode composition, slurry, and films in both lithium-sulphur and lithium-ion (NMC811) coin and pouch cells.

“Collaboration with BIC will also include additional research and development focused on improving performance and scale-up with the goal of creating prototypes for commercialisation consideration in 2024,” Platinum Group said.

“Lion’s target is to develop batteries with specific energies that are 20%-to-100% higher than current technologies while meeting or exceeding their present cycle lives.”

Research at Lion is led by Dr Bilal El-Zahab, who completed his post-doctoral work at MIT.

His team battery and materials science specialists and postdoctoral fellows at Florida International University.

“After an exhaustive search for a commercialisation partner we are excited to engage with The Battery Innovation Centre,” Dr El-Zahab said.

“The resources and team at the BIC will assist in validating several years of internal research and development and will help to lay the foundation for commercialisation efforts going forward.”

BIC’s Dr Wan Si Tang, the centre’s advanced battery manufacturing team leader, said the collaboration would aim to “ensure the proper development of prototype cells for the next stage of pilot manufacturing”.


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