Dutch inventors create new silicon battery for cars, e-bikes and much more
The Dutch design and manufacturing company E-magy is working on producing a new battery with silicon that would long outlast conventional batteries made with graphite.
Silicon is more expensive to use than graphite but it increases battery capacity by “40 to 70 percent”, the co-founder of E-magy, Casper Peeters said to Trouw. Should the design be successful, the new battery can be used in electric cars, laptops, e-bikes and many other devices.
The main advantage of the battery is that it is much smaller compared to conventional batteries. That means manufacturers from all across the world are eyeing the developments carefully.
The Dutch company RGS, together with TU Delft, discovered a few years ago how to use silicon in products such as cars or laptops without losing capacity. The production process was first applied to solar panels. When this proved to work well, E-magy, which focuses mainly on batteries, was founded.
“The silicon works like a sponge due to its pores. They absorb water without expanding”, Peeters said. The pores are only one-14,000th of a millimeter small which means they are invisible to the naked eye.
The silicon is melted at a temperature of 1,600 degrees Celsius and later solidified. This creates grey plates with a porous structure. The plates are then ground to grey sand which is supplied to battery manufacturers.
The first tests with the silicon battery have already been completed. It would currently be possible to produce 25 tons of silicon plates which could be used for four thousand electric car batteries.
E-magy has said they have plans to build a factory in the Netherlands by 2023. The heart of the factory would be a machine capable of producing three thousand tons of silicon plates, which would be enough to supply batteries for half a million cars. “Considering that there are now 100 million new cars being sold in the world, in a few years 20 percent of cars could be electric", said Peeters.