Establishing next-generation anode material lineup that can increase capacity 4 times compared to graphite anode material
The silicon anode material market is expected to grow by 39% annually by 2030
POSCO Group has entered the silicon anode material business, which takes center stage as a next-generation anode material.
POSCO Holdings signed a contract with Tera Science to take over a 100% stake in Tera Technos, which possesses silicon anode material production technology on July 1, 2022.
Tera Technos, which is a silicon anode material startup established in 2017, possesses continuous production technology of a high-temperature liquid method with excellent heat transmission, and it can increase productivity by more than three times compared to the existing batch-type technology. It also developed a technology that can increase the silicon content in the anode material by resolving the volume expansion issue by using nano-sized silicon particles.
Silicon anode materials are next-generation anode materials that can boost electric vehicle mileage and shorten charging time by quadrupling energy density compared to graphite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries.
For this reason, domestic and foreign battery manufacturers are focusing on developing technologies that can increase the content of silicon anode materials. The silicon anode material market is expected to grow by 39 percent every year by 2030. The content of silicon anode materials in lithium-ion batteries is currently less than 5 percent, but is expected to grow to more than 10 percent by 2025 and more than 25 percent by 2030.
After taking over Tera Technos, POSCO Holdings plans to start expanding Tera Technos' production facilities this year and to mass-produce and sell silicon anode materials from the first half of 2024. POSCO Holdings plans to secure mass production technology such as process development and production/quality management system construction by gathering Terra Technos technology with POSCO Group's secondary battery material-related technical capabilities such as the Future Technology Research Institute, POSCO, POSCO Chemical, and RIST. And in 2030, it will expand to tens of thousands of tons according to market conditions.
Byeong-og Yoo, Head of the Green Materials & Energy Business Team (Senior Executive Vice President) of POSCO Holdings said, "POSCO Group, which is the only company in the world that is building a value chain for secondary battery materials supply chain from raw materials such as lithium and nickel to cathode materials, will be able to reduce its high dependence on China for secondary battery materials in the future by expanding the portfolio even in the field of anode materials through the takeover of Tera Technos."
In the meantime, POSCO Group also produces natural/artificial graphite anode materials and needle cokes, raw materials for artificial graphite anode materials. For natural graphite anode materials, POSCO Group has an annual production capacity of 70,000 tons through investment in graphite mines, and for artificial graphite anode materials, it has solidfied its position in the global market in the anode materials sector by completing an 8,000 ton artificial graphite anode material factory for the first time in Korea. In addition, it has strengthened its ability to develop next-generation secondary battery materials in all directions, including an equity investment in Taiwanese all-solid-state battery company Prologium, and establishment of POSCO JK Solid Solution, a solid electrolyte production corporation.
▲ Global Silicon Anode Material Market Outlook