Brisbane-based clean technology company Graphene Manufacturing Group says its graphene aluminium-ion batteries can charge as much as 60-times faster than the best lithium-ion batteries, and are also longer-lasting and much safer, with a lower environmental impact than traditional batteries.
GMG was founded to develop energy storage products using its own in-house proprietary production process that produces GMG Graphene from methane rather than from mined graphite.
The resulting process produces graphene the company says is high-quality, scalable, tuneable, boasts low input costs, and has low contaminants, and which can be used in everything from watches to phones, and laptops, all the way up to electric vehicles and grid storage battery systems.
GMG and the University of Queensland announced in April a research agreement to develop graphene aluminium-ion batteries and initial performance data has been released after experiments were conducted at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland.
The results are, to be put it simply, impressive.
Translating the numbers above, GMG’s graphene aluminium-ion batteries could deliver charging times as much as 22-times to 60-times faster than traditional lithium-ion batteries.
Energy density differs from power density in that energy density refers to how much energy a battery contains in proportion to its weight, whereas power density refers to how quickly that stored energy can be delivered.
In both instances, however, the potential benefits of graphene aluminium-ion batteries are well in excess of traditional counterparts.
Testing and research development continues, but GMG has already signed a license agreement with Uniquest, the University of Queensland commercialisation company, which provides GMG an exclusive license of the technology for battery cathodes.
Further, the coin cells which were tested are now being produced with an aim to begin customer testing in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“We are currently looking to bring coin cell commercial prototypes for customer testing in 6 months and a pouch pack commercial prototype – used in mobile phones, laptops, etc – for customer testing in 18 months,” said Craig Nicol, CEO and Managing Director of GMG.
“We are really excited about bringing this to market. We aim to have a viable graphene and coin cell battery production facility project after customer validation that we would likely build here in Australia.”
“This is a real game-changing technology which can offer a real alternative with an interchangeable battery technology for the existing lithium-ion batteries in almost every application with GMG’s Graphene and UQ’s patent-pending aluminium ion battery technology,” said Dr Ashok Nanjundan, GMG’s Chief Scientific Officer.
“The current nominal voltage of our batteries is 1.7 volts, and work is being carried out to increase the voltage to directly replace existing batteries and which lead to higher energy densities.
“The real differentiator about these batteries is their very high power density of up to 7000 watts/kg, which endows them with a very high charge rate.
Furthermore, graphene aluminium-ion batteries provide major benefits in terms of longer battery life (over 2000 charge / discharge cycles testing so far with no deterioration in performance), battery safety (very low fire potential) and lower environmental impact (more recyclable).”
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.