Australian battery technology generates buzz from US trial

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

The Sunshine Coast-based company said that 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.

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 battery innovation was further recognised recently when Nano-Nouvelle received a $422,201 grant from the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, 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.

“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,” she said.

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

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.