February 13, 2020: Ceylon Graphene Technologies’ graphite mine has been commissioned by lead battery firm Associated Battery Manufacturers to provide it with graphite to use in its lead batteries on a mass commercial scale, CGT announced on February 10.
CGT is owned by a joint venture with LOLC Group (Sri Lanka Leasing Company), which has invested $2 million and has an 85% stake, and SLINTEC (Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology), which owns 15%.
This could be the first time graphene has been used in the mass production of lead batteries, SLINTEC said, and will be available to ABM, which is a subsidiary firm of Exide Technologies, once the plant is commissioned in April.
The use of graphene as an additive in lead batteries is not new.
In 2011, for example, Huang Jianping filed a patent in China on the inclusion of graphene as an additive in lead acid batteries on both the cathode and anode lead paste. It was granted in 2014.
“The lead acid battery takes the graphene material as the additive, can be rapidly charged and discharged, and simultaneously has high capacity and relatively longer charging and discharging circulation service life,” the patent says.
“Graphene materials have demonstrated great promise to improve energy storage applications because of their very high surface area and energy density coupled with an extremely high electron mobility,” said Terrance Barkan, executive director of the Graphene Council, which is based in the US.
“Graphene companies, battery producers and academia are all focusing on how to leverage the unique properties of graphene to make batteries that are more efficient and effective in applications like EVs, grid power storage and other critical use cases.”