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Australian company buys 50% stake in “game-changing” graphene battery storage technology

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Australian energy technology company LWP Technologies has bought a 50 per cent share in a new, graphene-based battery storage technology that the ASX-listed company believes could “change energy markets and the way the world commutes.”

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The $1.6 million deal, described by LWP on Wednesday as a ”major value-adding step” for the company, will see it enter into a joint venture to commercialise the patent pending aluminium-graphene synthesis and battery technology with its Australian-based inventor.

The battery – which comprises an Aluminium-Graphene-Oxygen chemistry – is said to be safer and more stable than lithium-ion batteries, and is shown to have vastly superior energy density.

But perhaps even more significant is the patent that describes the chemical synthesis process to manufacture highest quality graphene on a commercial scale – one of the key barriers to the successful use of graphene in both battery storage applications and in solar cell development.

LWP says funds invested will be spent on developing prototypes for the first of three patents that have been lodged, with an initial focus on the battery technology – including an “ultra fast” rechargeable aluminium-graphene-ion battery.

The JV partners intend to license the technology to battery manufacturers and other industry participants.

The Russian born Australian scientist behind the technology, Victor Volkov, has completed internal laboratory testing of the Al-Graphene-Oxygen battery, which has demonstrated the capacity to deliver significant benefits over lithium-ion technology, which you can see in the table below.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 1.34.16 PM

Volkov, who describes the technologies as his “life’s work”, said he was thrilled to be working with LWP to commercialise the them.

“I look forward to creating the revolutionary prototype batteries together with LWP who have a proven track record in developing energy-related technologies from laboratory to commercial scale,” he said.

Lithium-ion batteries, currently the dominant energy storage technology, have an estimated current market of more than $US30 billion a year, which is forecast to grow in lock-step with the electric vehicle market.

But lithium-ion continues to have its limitations, including instability and fire risks.

According to LWP, graphene has been recognised for its extraordinary potential in battery storage applications since its discovery by two Russian-émigré, Nobel Prize winning scientists at Manchester University in 2004.



It soon became apparent that graphene had the capacity for far greater energy density than that produced by lithium-ion batteries, without the hazardous side effects.

Millions of dollars have since been invested into the technology, with R&D being conducted at a number of renowned universities around the world.

In June last year, the coating of silicon cathodes with high-crystal graphene to almost double the capacity of lithium-ion batteries was revealed as a potential battery storage breakthrough. But experts at Samsung Electronics said the technology was two or three years off commercialisation.  

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  • Robert Comerford

    Even if the end product was only half as good again as the current technology it would be a big step forward. At the moment it is like many other research products. It would be good if comes to fruition. Just removing the fire risk of LiPo’s would be a good step forward.

    • MaxG

      Was going to say the same 🙂

  • Matt

    The Wh/kg and weight of the battery are inconsistent-with that density it should weigh 50 kg.

    • Carl Raymond S

      The table is nonsensical. What is the constant between the two batteries being “compared”? Every relevant variable is in the table, and nowhere are they aligned.

      • Dave

        it could be okay, the range works out about right for the energy denisty differences, what they haven’t given is the efficency and depth of discharge to get the stated cycles which is key to working it out. I worked out for similar amount kilometer range for graphene battery, but to do it is was only using 13-14% of the battery capacity where as Tesla used 62% for the weight numbers provided (using 95% efficency for both batteries). as to if becomes a commercial reality, that’s a totally different question, great if it does, but I won’t be investing as I don’t gamble on high risk low volume stocks.

  • JeffJL

    Why not compare an 85 kWh battery with an 85 kWh battery. Why the trickery?

    That said if this battery becomes commercial then I am sure Tesla (and all electric manufacturers) will switch to it.

  • Coley

    The expression “too good to be true” comes to mind.

    • Alastair Leith

      Graphene has fundamentals that make this kind of game changing breakthrough easily possible. Lithium ion is by no means the last word on energy storage, in fact it’s quite possibly seen most of its learnings curve improvement already occur with future cost reductions being mostly volume related.

      • Coley

        True enough but if the claims on the graph can be substantiated how come there isn’t an avalanche of major dosh heading towards this company , other than the rather small amount indicated in the article?

        • Alastair Leith

          not sure i looked at their share price too, maybe it’s not commercial enough yet for short term speculators. I have been watching lithium extraction companies on and off over the years wondering when the EV penny would drop and it’s just been an even growth, i don’t recall ever seeing a spike of investment even when Tesla announced Gigafactories or raised billions in pre-orders of the ‘Model 3’.

  • Alastair Leith

    been waiting for the big graphene commercialisation game changer, fingers crossed 🙂 here’s an interview I did with Prof Steven Kaner about graphene’s properties and potential uses.

    http://bze.org.au/media/radio/professor-richard-kaner-micro-supercapacitors-energy-storage-130527

    • Runar Tunem

      You should all have a look on this:
      http://www.cealtech.com

    • JH

      What utter waste of time energy and money was all that Beyond Blue stuff.

      Fortunately, nobody took a blind bit of notice, butI can see the value as a student project akin to discecting frogs.

      You would in no way allow frog discecting experience qualify you as knowing something about surgery either.

  • Ruben

    “kWh” is a unit of energy, not power. I think that you tried to compare power, but then the numbers are wrong (the ratio might be right though). A Tesla 85kWh battery can supply WAY more than 85kW.

  • Ruben

    I was going to consider investing in this company after reading this (especially given their share price), however I did a little bit of reading and much of what they do is fracking, so I can’t invest in it. 🙁

    • Geoff

      yeah you’re right. sounds like they want to get into a potentially profitable market. Carbon companies have been doing this a lot recently. They all know whats coming and want a piece of the pie…

    • Dimitrov

      Thanks for that update. Anyone who makes components for fracking is off my list.

  • AC Tesla

    I so distrust this. If it was this good I think there would be more out about this. My guess is this is snake oil for gullible investors. ie: eestor

  • tftillman

    Really?
    Then, let’s see one.
    What? You don’t have even one?
    Just one, that can be tested to prove these ridiculous claims?
    Didn’t think so. I guess it’s a few years off. Like maybe the 12th of never.

  • redrooster

    Sounds good but Robert Murray Smith has even better graphene batterys,checkout Edison power they are a Canadian company with a former govenor of of some American state that I cant remember and a former United States secretary of energy as directors plus some other tech heads plus Bob.He has a Youtube channel showing you how to make them and how to experiment with different electrolytes.

  • Gap Wim

    One has to play really fast and loose with discharge depth, even to the point where it becomes dishonest, to make this work. While the energy density compared to the range might work out, the rest of the numbers hold no mathematical relationship to each other.

    – If you take the energy density and then verify it against the Power and Weight in this table you end up even slightly below Li-Ion battery.

    – If you take the power increase of 15% (this translates directly to 15% range increase), a weight reduction of 30% (unrealistic but I’m being generous and say this also translates into 30% range increase), 54% volume reduction (so you can install twice as many the batteries, doubling the range) you only get about 1300 km … a great improvement but still 2200km less than advertised.

    – If you calculate the weight per volume the graphene batteries are about 2.5 times heavier … not 30% lighter

    If you calculate the power from the weight and energy density, this battery should be about 775kWh, not 100. With a battery of 775kWh you could get, according to this table, the advertised 8x range increase … but then where does this 100kWh come from?

    And there are even more relations that don’t add up … like Carl Raymond said: this table doesn’t make sense.

    When I see stuff like that, that’s a huge red flag for me!