MGX Minerals and its partner, the University of British Columbia, has completed the first phase of work to create next-generation lithium-ion batteries capable of quadrupling energy density up to 400 Wh/kg from the current 100 Wh/kg.

The first phase of work involved a baseline assessment of metallurgical silicon from MGX’s three projects in southeast British Columbia.

The second phase of work, now underway, will focus on developing a scalable process to upgrade metallurgical silicon and turn it into silicon anodes. The use of silicon anodes – rather than graphite as is now customary – is responsible for higher energy density in the batteries. Better batteries could find uses in electric vehicles, grid storage, telecommunications, wireless sensors and more, says MGX.

The two-year MGX-UBC research program has an initial goal of creating a hybrid silicon-graphite anode that will not require industry retooling. The ultimate goal is to create the next generation of energy-dense lithium-ion batteries.

This article first appeared in Canadian Mining Journal.

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