Sila Nanotechnologies Silicon anodes will improve lithium ion batteries by up to 40%

Sila Nanotechnologies has silicon-dominant anode products that drop into existing battery manufacturing processes, replace graphite entirely, and deliver significantly higher energy density at the cell-level with lower swelling.

Sila Nanotechnologies emerged from stealth mode last month, partnering with BMW to put the company’s silicon-based anode materials in at least some of the German automaker’s electric vehicles by 2023. A BMW spokesman told the Wall Street Journal the company expects that the deal will lead to a 10 to 15 percent increase in the amount of energy you can pack into a battery cell of a given volume. Sila’s CEO Gene Berdichevsky says the materials could eventually produce as much as a 40 percent improvement.

Sila Nanotechnologies figured out ways to alter the internal structure to prevent the battery electrolyte from seeping into the particles, and it achieved dozens of incremental gains in energy density that ultimately added up to an improvement of about 20 percent over the best existing technology.

Ultimately, Sila created a robust, micrometer-size spherical particle with a porous core, which directs much of the swelling within the internal structure. The outside of the particle doesn’t change shape or size during charging, ensuring otherwise normal performance and cycle life.

* Sila will first try to improve cellphone batteries
* Sila will improve car batteries by 2023

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