EcoGraf heralds graphite recycling tech test results

Graphite specialist EcoGraf (ASX:EGR) has touted the recycling capabilities of its HFfree processing technology following ‘positive’ findings from a research program completed by the Helmholtz Institute in Germany. 

As part of the research program, Helmholtz used the HFfree tech to purify graphite particles recovered from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries.

EcoGraf says its tech was used to purify recovered graphite particles to battery-grade specification, which was then compared to the electrochemical performance of several commercial battery graphite products. The work was funded by the German government.

EcoGraf says the structure and morphology of the recycled graphite was ‘essentially unchanged’ compared to pristine commercial anode-grade graphite, and despite some minor impurities from the recycling process, the recycled graphite provided a ‘remarkable’ reversible specific capacity of more than 350 milliampere-hours per gram (mAh/g). 

Essentially, the testing confirmed that the electrochemical performance of the EcoGraf HFfree-recovered graphite matched that of the brand-new commercial anode graphite.

Even more importantly, according to EcoGraf, newly assembled recycled graphite and LiO2 cathode cells showed an ‘excellent’ cycling stability, with a capacity retention of 80% after 1000 cycles — comparable to the performance of reference full-cells made with commercial graphite.

In any case, EcoGraf says while the findings are positive, more work is still required. One of the company’s strategies is to blend recycled graphite with high-quality graphite from its Tanzanian operations for manufacturing anodes. 

EcoGraf is scheduled to commission the first HFfree battery anode material product qualification facility (PQF) in Western Australia, which the company says is being developed in response to requests from electric vehicle and battery manufacturers for HFfree products. 

The company has received $2.9 million in support for the PQF from the Australian government under the Critical Minerals Development Program, which forms part of Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy. 

EcoGraf says it believes that the recycling capabilities of its technology will ‘fundamentally change the dynamics of the battery supply chain’, helping drive down carbon emissions and battery production costs. 

The company had around $30.5 million cash at hand at the end of December 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.

Images: EcoGraf
Author Image
Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.