Li-Metal, a developer of lithium metal anodes and other battery technologies, has released an operational update for its roll-to-roll anode pilot plant in Rochester, New York. Since its commissioning earlier this year, the facility has been ramping up production of its lithium metal anode sample materials using Li-Metal’s roll-to-roll physical vapor deposition (PVD) process.
This year, the facility has produced more than 3,000 meters of sample material for both internal and customer use. The plant can produce anode products with lithium thickness between 3 and 25 micrometers, and the company continues to customize its offerings to meet the unique needs of prospective customers.
Li-Metal has completed proof-of-concept testing of silicon anode pre-lithiation using its PVD equipment. Once it expands to commercial-scale pre-lithiation, Li-Metal says it will be able to serve a broader customer base with multiple next-generation battery anode technologies, significantly expanding the addressable market for its offerings.
“Silicon anodes are an exciting next-generation battery technology that is being commercialized in parallel with lithium metal-based batteries,” said Dr. Jonathan Goodman, Li-Metal’s Chief Scientist. “A key challenge with many silicon anodes is that they experience a significant loss of battery capacity in the first charge-discharge cycle. Our silicon pre-lithiation work holds substantial promise as a cost-effective, performance-enhancing technology to overcome this challenge.”
“Our US pilot plant continues to hit key benchmarks and technical milestones,” said Maciej Jastrzebski, co-founder and CEO of Li-Metal. “The process productivity increases we have achieved this year play a big part in determining production economics. We have demonstrated high-rate deposition, and to our knowledge, we are operating the highest-intensity PVD lithium deposition process in the world.”
Li-Metal recently completed a scoping study for the development and build-out of a small commercial-scale anode production facility. The envisioned plant will demonstrate a PVD lithium anode production line at full scale, while supplying up to a million meters per year (approximately 200-250 MWh) of large-format anodes for advanced product qualification and early-stage production.
“As our customers increase the scale of piloting activities for their next-generation batteries, we are advancing our scale-up efforts in lockstep with demand so that we are in a leading position to support the advancement of these technologies,” said Jastrzebski. “In addition to maturing our processes, the team is focused over the coming year on securing partnerships and material orders to secure offtake for the Anode Demo Plant.”