About the project
Battery-grade graphite, the mineral widely used as anode active material in lithium-ion batteries, is available in Europe.
The project GR4FITE3 aims to reach graphite resilience for lithium-ion battery anodes through a sustainable European end-to-end supply chain.
This supply chain includes environmentally responsible mining of natural crystalline flake graphite from Europe’s largest natural graphite resource, and innovative, continuous, and low energy input upgrading of the mined ore.
GR4FITE3 will not only source battery-grade graphite with a lower environmental impact, but it will also deliver novel silicon-based composites made from natural and recycled graphite materials.
Partners will ultimately compose a unique anode active material’s particle architecture, make the high-density anodes, create the cells, develop battery modules, and certify the lithium-ion batteries for safety and viability.
This will lead to the development and commercialisation in Europe of more sustainable, improved batteries for use in electric vehicles and energy storage applications for solar and wind facilities.
Scientific breakthrough advancements
- Creation and validation of the first ever all-European miniature end-to-end supply chain from the mine into electric vehicles.
- A 3D geological and thermal structure model of Zavalivskiy’s deposit.
- A zero-HF chemical purification reactor and technology to obtain a minimum purity level of 99.9 wt.% carbon.
- A low cost & highly efficient sustainable thermal purification reactor and technology for achieving battery-ready graphite purity at the level of 99.98 – 99.99 wt.%C.
- An innovative gas-fired reactor capable of curing nano-scale coatings based on innovative water-based carbon pitch.
- Development of engineered battery-ready graphite anode active materials built from unique combinations of natural, recycled graphite and controlled additions of nano-sized silicon on a single particle level.
- A form-factored pack assembly design of high calendared density anode for specific use of targeted OEMs.
- The first commercial-scale LCA studies worldwide for the recycled and “healed” graphite recovered from spent lithium-ion batteries and repaired for second life use in batteries made for use in Europe.
- Increased societal acceptance and support from policy-makers for environmentally responsible graphite mining in Europe.
Economic and societal impacts
- Availability of higher quality and cost competitive European graphite at global level.
- Development of new circular business models with the integration of recycled synthetic graphite from spent batteries.
- Provision in Europe of 100 000 tonnes of graphite per year in the medium term, and up to 400 000 tonnes after successful replication, resulting in less dependency from imported materials.
- Demonstration of natural graphite’s lower production cost and greatly diminished environmental impact compared to synthetic aternatives.
- More sustainable graphite processing by using green energy, and preventing the use of HF in the purification.
- Recycled graphite integration in new anode production targeting <0.5 kg CO2eq/kg of produced anode material.
This project combines the efforts of 10 partner organisations from six European countries, employing both industry and academia.