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GMG pilots graphene aluminum batteries

Aussie group produces longer lasting, faster charging battery Metal Tech News – December 15, 2021

Graphene Manufacturing Group Ltd. Dec. 9 announced that the pilot production and testing plant for its graphene aluminum-ion batteries is now operational and the first coin cells of these potential lithium-ion battery competitors have been manufactured.

"The commissioning of our battery pilot plant is an important milestone for GMG," said Managing Director and CEO of Graphene Manufacturing Group Craig Nicol. "Not only will it allow us to develop, manufacture and test our own G+AI Battery coin cell and subsequently pouch packs in-house, it will also enable the company to accelerate the commercial development of our G+AI Batteries, work with future customers and further build on our internal expertise."

Based out of Australia, Graphene Manufacturing Group is a clean-tech company that, instead of mining graphite, produces graphene by cracking methane. Using a proprietary process, GMG has devised a method to produce high-quality, low-cost, scalable, tunable, and no or low contaminant graphene.

While GMG graphene can be used for a wide range of industries, the company's initial focus has been on developing applications for energy saving and energy storage solutions, and with a pilot plant for producing its graphene aluminum-ion batteries, its vision is coming to fruition.

"Having our own manufacturing and testing capability also supports collaboration efforts with industry partners that continue to express strong interest in the initial performance results and future potential of G+AI Batteries," said Nicol. "The lessons we learn from this process will be highly valuable as we work towards commercialisation of this technology."

As a world-exclusive type of battery, efforts by GMG, the University of Queensland Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and UniQuest have allowed for this potential lithium-ion competitor to reach scaled production.

According to Graphene Manufacturing Group, laboratory testing and experiments have shown so far that the G+AI Battery energy storage technology has high energy densities and higher power densities compared to current leading marketplace lithium-ion battery technology.

Specifications detailed by the company include a power density of up to 7,000 watts per kilogram, with testing confirming a cycle rate with minimal reduction over a 3,000-cycle experiment period – which included charging up to full charge and discharging down to near full discharge – at variable charging rates.

Furthermore, GMG stated that these results showed a very high cycling rate for the duration, with negligible reduction in performance and at a very high charging rate up to 66 coulombs (amperes per second), which is comparable to lithium-ion batteries between 600 to 1,000 cycles at much lower charging rates of 1/5 coulombs, where performance typically reduces to 60% of original capacity.

In the real world, this means a much longer battery life, immensely shorter recharge time, and a much longer life span.

"Testing showed rechargeable graphene aluminium-ion batteries had a battery life of up to three times that of current leading lithium-ion batteries, and higher power density meant they charged up to 70 times faster," said University of Queensland AIBN Director Professor Alan Rowan. "The batteries are rechargeable for a larger number of cycles without deteriorating performance and are easier to recycle, reducing potential for harmful metals to leak into the environment."

The specs make graphene-aluminum batteries a potentially intriguing option for electric vehicles and electronic devices where battery life, recharge times, and durability are important – basically, all applications.

Subject to successful commercial prototypes and a final investment decision, GMG aims to construct an initial commercial coin cell G+AI Battery manufacturing facility, followed by first production and sales of G+AI Batteries.

The location of this future facility has not yet been decided.


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