Ionic Mineral Technologies (Ionic MT) has developed Ionisil™, a nano-silicon anode drop-in technology for lithium-ion batteries. The product is designed to replace graphite (the current mainstream anode material) in the anode of the battery, both partially and completely, to significantly boost energy density and therefore the range of the battery.
The innovative technology utilizes the natural nanotubular structure of halloysite, a naturally occurring aluminosilicate material that other manufacturers attempt to produce synthetically. Halloysite has a nano-structure that was synthesized in the ground over the last 35 million years, which is applied using a top-down synthesis process that requires significantly less energy input using a continuous process.
Ionic MT’s unique nano-silicon structure allows the company to address the challenges conventional silicon commonly faces, namely the swelling and degradation of the battery which can occur over repeated charge-discharge cycles, causing capacity loss. Conventional silicon swells to 3x its size when in contact with lithium during charging, which causes capacity loss per charge and rupturing, reducing battery lifespan. However, Ionisil™, with its nanotubular structure from the halloysite, provides a protective casing around the silicon nanoparticles, reducing battery degradation. The nano-sized particles can also improve the cycling stability of lithium-ion batteries.
Ionic MT's nano-silicon can replace graphite in EV batteries, improving charging speeds 8-fold and capacity 7.5-fold. That means more driving and less charging time as well as longer range for EVs. The company's mission is to be the world’s leading producer of drop-in nano-silicon anode powders for the next generation of advanced lithium-silicon batteries. The key to success is Ionisil™, a proprietary halloysite-derived nano-silicon, which delivers considerable, unique advantages to lithium-ion battery makers.
The Ionic MT technology represents a breakthrough as their manufacturing process is the greenest and most scalable on the market for nano-silicon. This is due to utilizing the natural nanotubular structure of halloysite (as explained above) which can easily be scaled up as the process is more efficient than producing nano-silicon synthetically, an aspect relevant to their green and scalable process.
The vertically integrated approach Ionic MT is proud to employ is possible through ownership of the world’s largest halloysite deposit and its battery manufacturing facility, both located in Utah. This positions Ionic MT uniquely in the field and ties in with its green process and domestic battery materials solution.
Not only will Ionic MT’s nano-silicon be used to power the clean, electrified future, but it will also be produced with the most sustainable process for manufacturing nano-silicon. The company's process employs green chemistry and engineering principles leading to much lower energy usage and carbon emissions.
As the controller and operator of one of the world’s largest deposits of high-purity halloysite clay nanotubes, the ideal nano-silicon feedstock, Ionic MT has a critical advantage in powering the future of EVs.