Dutch advanced materials company E-magy has raised €20.5 million in new funding to prepare for industrial-scale production of its nano-porous silicon anode material for high-energy batteries. The funding consists of €15 million invested by Hydro, Invest-NL and RubioRubio, together with existing impact investors SHIFT Invest and PDENH, and a €5.5 million subsidy from the Dutch National Growth Fund program NXTGEN HIGHTECH.
The most common lithium-ion batteries used in EVs feature graphite as the active anode material, but graphite’s physical and chemical properties limit its storage capacity. E-magy looks at silicon as a promising alternative anode material, given its wide availability and increased capacity, which is 10 times that of graphite. However, silicon-dominant batteries typically swell and break when charged and discharged.
E-magy has created a new kind of silicon material with a nanoscale porous structure, which prevents batteries from swelling and breaking completely by containing the swelling within the nanopores. This silicon-dominant anode material delivers 40% higher energy density and enables faster charging than existing graphite solutions, according to the company.
E-magy’s technology is easily scalable because it uses low-cost metallurgical-grade silicon that is compatible with existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing processes and installed factory equipment, the company said. In late 2022, E-magy completed 500 battery cycles with silicon as the only active anode material.
“These funds will help us transition from our current pilot facility to a higher capacity production line, ensuring we have the necessary capacity to meet growing market demand for higher energy density batteries,” said Casper Peeters, CEO of E-magy.