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ENERGY STORAGE

Li-ion batteries (LIB) were developed in response to the need for a smaller and lighter battery for use in consumer electronics and more recently distributed power systems and electric vehicles. The global market for lithium ion batteries is one of the fastest growing energy storage market segments and is estimated to reach $20-25 billion by 2017 out of a total market of $70 billion. The market distribution of the LIB market segment is estimated by 2020 to be 37% grid and renewable energy storage, 30% automotive, 24% consumer electronics and the remainder industrial.

The SOA LIB employ graphite as the anode material, whose capacity is limited by its theoretical value (372 Ah/kg) and relatively low density (2.09–2.23 g/cm3). In 2014, global lithium battery anode materials output totaled around 70,000 tons. Anode materials such as silicon is promising to replace graphite if their reversibility and cycle life can be improved. Si anode materials have demonstrated 4-10 times the storage capacity when compared to graphite anode materials alone.

Coretec’s Cyclohexasilane (CHS) Si6H12 derived or related materials provide a new approach to Si anode development for use in LIB. As one example, studies have shown that by adding silicon nanowires (SI-NW) made with Si6H12 to LiB anodes, Coretec Industries has shown a lower discharge potential, up to a 10x higher charge capacity when compared to carbon anodes, significantly improved recharging capabilities, increased battery cycle life, and significant improvements in mechanical stability of the battery.

An anode using Si6H12 material produced at a energy density of 3000 mAh/g would also require 8 times less silicon by mass to have the same battery power as carbon. With silicon being roughly twice as dense and 8 times less silicon is needed it would take 1/16 the volume of carbon assuming equivalent amounts could be attached to each current collector. This will create a material savings in the casing, electrolyte, and current collectors.