Battery technology pioneer Nexeon has signed a strategic partnership agreement with WACKER Chemie AG. The companies have announced that they will co-operate on the scale-up of Nexeon’s silicon anode technology to commercial volumes. In parallel, WACKER will become a strategic investor in Nexeon.
Nexeon is leading the development of silicon materials to replace carbon as the anode of Li-ion batteries. Its use will lead to the production of rechargeable batteries with higher charge density, leading to longer operating times between charges for consumer devices such as laptops and smart phones, and cordless tools with more power on tap.
WACKER Chemie is a €4.9 billion globally active chemicals company with over 17,000 employees, strong research capabilities and extensive production expertise in speciality materials. WACKER will leverage its world class engineering and manufacturing expertise to accelerate Nexeon’s scale-up plans.
“We are very excited about working with WACKER, a company with an enviable track record of bringing innovative products to demanding global markets”, said Dr Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. “Their large scale silicon processing expertise will accelerate our scale-up plans significantly.”
“This is a hugely important strategic step for Nexeon”, added Dr Paul Atherton, Chairman of Nexeon. “With a strong supply side partner in WACKER, and good commercial traction with consumer and automotive customers, we are perfectly placed to ensure widespread adoption of our unique silicon anode technology in the next generation of high performance Li-ion batteries.”
Nexeon has already raised £40 million in funding to establish a world class manufacturing facility to scale up the production of its materials to a commercial supply level of around 250 tonnes per annum. The company’s existing pilot plant in Oxfordshire simulates current battery manufacturing processes, and the know-how gained there will enable Nexeon to better support battery manufacturers in rapidly adopting the technology through a “drop in” approach.