Cadenza Innovation teams for graphite anode development

August 23, 2017 //By Nick Flaherty
US battery startup Cadenza Innovation has teamed up with Australian mineral company Syrah Resources in a long-term research and development agreement to develop graphite anode technology for use in lithium-ion-based energy storage.

Based in Australia, Syrah claims to have the only major, fully funded, natural graphite development project in construction and is starting production. By 2020, Syrah is projected to be the world’s largest individual graphite producer with approximately 40% market share from its Balama operation in Mozambique. Syrah also has a processing facility in development in Louisiana, USA, which will be integral to the agreement with Cadenza.

This is being driven by the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) which will unfold even faster than previously estimated, accounting for a full third of the global auto fleet by 2040, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That will fuel exponential growth in demand for graphite production – from 13,000 tons for finished anodes in 2015 to 852,000 tons a year in 2030, for electrified vehicles alone. Many analysts believe that grid storage additionally could more than double this demand for Li-ion batteries and graphite in the same time frame.

 Under the terms of the agreement, Cadenza Innovation and Syrah will develop and test advanced proprietary Battery Anode Materials (BAM) and support the processing plant Syrah is establishing in Louisiana. Syrah will also embed key personnel within Cadenza Innovation’s research, design and engineering team. Additionally, the combined team will develop Syrah’s carbon materials using a natural graphite base.

“As developers – and champions – of safer, higher performing and more sustainable battery technology, we are thrilled to partner with a global leader in graphite,” said Dr Christina Lampe-Onnerud, CEO and founder of Cadenza who also serves on the Syrah board. “Syrah’s core business tenets align with our foundational design and development principles, and we look forward to a highly successful collaboration in which our team can once again advance the state-of-the-art in lithium-ion technology.”

“With the enormous forecasted growth and increasing adoption of EVs, and proliferation of grid storage applications, the lithium-ion battery market continues its strong growth trajectory,” said Shaun Verner, CEO of Syrah.