Johnson Matthey teams for graphene battery materials

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty



Johnson Matthey (JM) has teamed up with technology innovation centre CPI and chemical supplier Thomas Swan to boost the performance of carbon-based battery graphene nanomaterials.

The ICE-Batt project receives funding support from the Faraday Battery Challenge to look at carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) for battery cells. The aim is to boost the energy density, power density and low temperature performance of lithium-ion and beyond lithium-ion technologies. In addition, the project will explore how to improve the green credentials of battery processing.

ICE-Batt will combine Thomas Swan’s GNP technology and CPI’s formulation expertise to explore how these can be used in JM’s high performance battery materials.

ICE-Batt will fine tune these novel carbon structures produced at an industrial scale by Thomas Swan and demonstrate how they can be best applied to enhance the overall performance of traditional lithium-ion and next generation batteries such as JM’s family of nickel-rich advanced cathode materials eLNO and LIFE POWER LFP.

CPI is a founding member of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and will provide formulation optimisation through integration, iteration and evaluation. By using CPI’s high throughput capabilities, it offers a rapid route towards improved, safer and more-sustainable technologies in the production of battery cathodes. This will support the shift away from the commonly used – but toxic and now regulated – solvents, improving sustainability and the potential for widespread adoption.


Fine-tuning the existing cathode formulations and introducing advanced carbon nano-materials into them may result in a longer life-span for lithium-ion batteries, which will have widespread economic benefits to society. In this way the ICE-Batt project will help pave the way for the next generation of high-performance, sustainable battery technology.

“The overwhelming global warming issues is such that a widespread adoption of electric vehicles is needed, but we will never get there if we don’t have the right and affordable battery technology. The ICE-Batt project is helping to make this possible, by improving current lithium-ion battery performance while helping to establish the next generation of more sustainable, affordable and efficient battery technology,” said Dr. Amponsah Kyeremateng, Senior Research Scientist at CPI.

“The ICE-Batt collaboration brings together leaders in their fields to optimise the innovative carbons and understand how best to integrate these with JM battery materials. This project will add to our understanding of how to maximise our battery materials, ultimately benefitting our customers to develop next generation batteries,” said Dr Ross Gordon, Principal Scientist at Johnson Matthey, Project Lead for ICE-Batt.

“We are delighted to be part of the ICE-Batt project, an innovative collaboration in the exciting application of next generation batteries,” said Michael Edwards, Business Director – Advanced Materials at Thomas Swan. “With patented processes, applied chemistry and modular production capability of GNPs, Thomas Swan brings global expertise in the research, development and production of innovative carbon technologies at an industrial scale. Working with such high-profile, experienced partners as Johnson Matthey and CPI ensures that we continue to drive sustainability by innovating in new carbon-reducing application areas.”

This follows a deal with Nano One Materials in Canada to commercialise production of its coated nanocrystal technology. This will allow low cost production of nanomaterials for high-performance lithium ion battery cathode materials.

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