Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc., Quebec, Canada, and Forge Nano Inc., based in Colorado, have signed a collaboration agreement for the use of Forge Nano’s proprietary Atomic Layer Deposition coating technologies (“ALD”). Forge Nano’s surface engineering platform technology will be used to apply atomic level coatings to Noveau Monde’s graphite material.
Eric Desaulniers, President & CEO of Nouveau Monde explains: “We are very excited to collaborate with Forge Nano, an American-based global leader in surface engineering, that is well-recognized in the EV and battery sectors. With the use of their ALD-coating technology, we will be able to offer our customers an enhanced battery material solution.” He adds: “Partnering with Forge Nano, will enable Nouveau Monde to market an active anode material that is optimized for each battery system, using different cathode and electrolyte chemistries. This coating layer will play a pivotal role in matching ion exchange compatibility, that will drive battery performance beyond what is currently known.”
James Trevey, CTO of Forge Nano explains: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Nouveau Monde to provide tailored, high-performance graphite products capable of meeting the demands of any application. Not only are we excited about the business potential of our partnership but appreciate working with people as passionate about innovation and market leadership as we are, this relationship has all of the right ingredients for a long term partnership”.
Why are ALD coating so effective in lithium-ion battery materials?
When added to anode powders, cathode powders, solid state electrolyte powders, and separator materials, or the combination thereof, the result is an increased cycle life and reduced capacity fade, increased ionic or electronic conductivity, greater stability under high voltage operation, greater capacity retention under fast charging, greater stability under high temperature storage and extreme low and high temperature operation conditions. As well, as protection from interfacial side reactions, low gas generation, greater moisture resistance, modified interfacial thermodynamics, high temperature resistance to thermal runaway, and abuse tolerance.
US government declares state of emergency to establish a north american supply of graphite
On September 30th 2020, the U.S. Presidency declared an Executive Order on addressing the threat to the domestic supply chain from reliance on critical minerals from Foreign Adversaries, whose practices do not endorse and pursue appropriate minerals supply chain standards, leading to human rights violations, forced and child labor, violent conflict, and health and environmental damage:
“The United States is 100 percent reliant on imports for graphite, which is used to make advanced batteries for cellphones, laptops, and hybrid and electric cars. China produces over 60 percent of the world’s graphite and almost all the world’s production of high-purity graphite needed for rechargeable batteries. For these and other critical minerals identified by the Secretary of the Interior, we must reduce our vulnerability to adverse foreign government action, natural disaster, or other supply disruptions. Our national security, foreign policy, and economy require a consistent supply of each of these minerals. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”
Nouveau Monde will respond to these and similar demands, ensuring a dependable and ethically sourced supply.
Terms of the agreement
The Agreement sets out a multi-phase partnership, which will allow Nouveau Monde the opportunity to commence production in the near-term, while preparing for commercial production by 2023.
Initially, Nouveau Monde will supply Forge Nano with test batches of spherical graphite to successfully determine the optimal ALD operational parameters. Nouveau Monde will then purchase a first ALD module from Forge Nano, which will be added to the Company’s battery anode material demonstration plant in Québec, Canada. In the interim, Forge Nano will collaborate with Nouveau Monde for the design and specifications of ALD equipment for the Company’s full-scale commercial operation in Canada. At full-scale production, Nouveau Monde plans to produce 40,000 tons per year of battery anode material, with the ability to expand over time to meet market demand.