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Domestic Halloysite-Derived Silicon as a Low-Cost High-Performance Anode Material for Li-Ion Batteries

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021893
Agency Tracking Number: 0000259379
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 17a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002360
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-06-27
Small Business Information
1200 Silver City Road
Eureka, UT 84628
United States
DUNS: 010206878
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dean Wheeler
 (801) 422-4126
Business Contact
 Sharad Mathur
Phone: (704) 621-9213
Research Institution
 Brigham Young University
 Gene Larson
Provo, UT 84602-4100
United States

 (801) 422-3841
 Nonprofit College or University

To meet performance and cost targets for electric vehicles, substantial improvement is still required in lithium-ion batteries. A low-cost, high-capacity silicon anode will greatly aid in this effort, but current methods for generating functional nano-silicon for anodes use expensive metallurgical, templating, gaseous, or other top-down engineering processes. This project proposes to use the naturally occurring clay mineral halloysite as a raw material for producing nano-porous, nano-sized silicon for use in lithium-ion batteries. The largest known reserves of this mineral at high purity are found in Utah and can be mined and processed at low cost because the native structure of the mineral is ideal for battery use. The team, consisting of a small business, university, and national laboratory, will extract, purify, and test halloysite-derived silicon for battery use. This will require adjusting reaction conditions and chemical compositions to achieve optimal cycling and capacity performance of the material. Material will be provided to potential customers for evaluation. The production process will be designed for scale-up and low cost. Customers of this technology and product will be battery manufacturers that supply the cells needed for electric vehicles. Large-scale, economical production of high-performance silicon anode material will allow significant public benefits. As the cost of batteries decrease, the cost of electric vehicles will be reduced, making affordable, emission-free transportation available to the public.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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