Winning Nano-Nouvelle passes plug-and-play test

Australian battery technology innovator Nano-Nouvelle, recent winner of a Federal commercialisation grant, has proved that its pioneering processes are ready for plug-and-play production.

The Sunshine Coast-based company designs innovative nanotechnology materials that can boost the energy storage capacity of lithium ion batteries by as much as 50 per cent. Lithium ion batteries power devices such as mobile phones, notebooks, electric cars, drones and energy storage systems.

Graphite Trial

Graphite Coating Trial of Copper Lumafoil

In a trial last month, Nano-Nouvelle worked with Portland, Oregon-based Polaris Battery Labs to successfully apply a graphite layer to its copper-coated nanomaterial, Copper Lumafoil. The trial proved graphite adheres well to Lumafoil’s porous nanostructure and that Lumafoil is strong enough to work in present battery manufacturing lines.

Nano-Nouvelle Product Development Manager Manuel Wieser, who oversaw the trial, said Lumafoil had generated a lot of attention at last month’s 34th International Battery Seminar & Exhibit in Florida.

This world-leading battery innovation was further recognised recently when Nano-Nouvelle received a $422,201 grant from the Australian Government’s flagship initiative to assist Australian companies undertake commercialisation activities to bring their new products, processes and services to market.

Nano-Nouvelle CEO Stephanie Moroz said the graphite application trial had addressed key customer concerns. “It demonstrated Lumafoil is a plug-and-play replacement for solid copper current collectors in batteries,” she said.

“By showing that graphite adheres well to our nanomaterials and that Lumafoil rolls are strong enough for commercial battery production lines, we have passed two major tests set by our customers. If a customer purchases our Lumafoil current collector material, they can use it as a drop-in replacement in their existing manufacturing process.

“Our next step is to show our processes can scale to produce commercial quantities.”

Nano-Nouvelle’s Lumafoil current collector can produce lighter lithium ion batteries and can potentially lower costs through quicker assembly and extend battery life through better active material adhesion.

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are used for an increasing number of applications, from mobile devices to Tesla Powerwall home batteries. However, despite incremental improvements in battery performance, present-day components are limited in their capacity to deliver better results.

Nano-Nouvelle is proving that next-generation nanomaterials, based on a porous polymer membrane substrate, can deliver substantial improvements in battery performance with highly responsive three-dimensional nano-surfaces that overcome the limitations of present-day materials.

Nano-Nouvelle’s Copper Lumafoil replaces solid metal foil current collectors, which conduct stored electricity to an outside circuit. Copper Lumafoil weighs as much as 70 per cent less than existing current collectors used in lithium ion batteries.