Global professional services firm Hatch has completed a study which includes Nano One’s (TSX:NANO/FRA:LBMB) proprietary cathode materials technology and has confirmed its value for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that are going to want to keep the waste levels of cathode manufacturing under control. Scaled up battery manufacturing has to remain environmentally friendly, and larger auto and battery manufacturing firms are seeking ways to achieve this.
The study could potentially be used as a reference point for OEMs looking to scale up battery production processes. It demonstrates the technology can eliminate 100% of sulphate waste, uses 60% less water, and is cost and capital competitive. Nano One confirmed today that opportunities to further optimise its technology are already underway.
Nano One hailed the report as “an important step forward” in its efforts to bring the latest innovations in cathode manufacturing technology through scale-up towards commercialisation. It demonstrates that Nano One’s patented One Pot M2CAM process offers both environmental and and potential economic benefits when compared to conventional cathode manufacturing processes.
Why OEMs need to crack the mass-production problem
“The energy transition that is underway will require a 100-fold increase in the production of lithium-ion batteries and the materials that go into them,” explained Dan Blondal, CEO of Nano One, “but there is an unintended consequence. For every terawatt-hour of battery production, the current cathode manufacturing process generates over 2 billion kilograms of sodium sulphate waste.”
Put another way, that is 500 NFL football fields, one foot deep in waste, for every 15 million cars. This is not sustainable at larger volumes.
Nano One’s technology uses no sulfate and eliminates 100% of this waste. It is also economically differentiated, standing up to highly optimised conventional processes. “We believe it can leapfrog the wasteful methods in use today,” Blondal said.
Emphasis on commercialisation and scale up of technology
Nano One is positioned to work with automotive OEMs and others, supporting localised, cost-effective and more environmentally friendly sustainable materials. The company said that continuous innovation and engineering optimisation would further improve the benefits of its One Pot process.
Conventional cathode manufacturing produces approximately 1.8 times more weight in sodium sulphate waste than it does in CAM product, whereas Nano One’s process produces no waste. It is estimated the One-Pot M2CAM process also reduces water consumption by approximately 60% prior to recycling. Further, the Hatch work supports that the Nano One’s process significantly reduces the number of process steps to get to a single crystal coated cathode active material helping reduce costs and create efficiencies.
The report estimates competitive economics for Nano One and its One-Pot process over conventional cathode processes and identifies opportunities for further cost savings, despite One-Pot having over 20-years less industrial optimisation. Work is already underway on further optimisations.
Who is Hatch?
For those not familiar with Hatch, it is a global professional services firm with consultants, engineers and project management personnel with a global network of 9,000 professionals working on the world’s toughest challenges. Its experience spans over 150 countries around the world in the metals, energy and infrastructure market sectors.