Silicon anode market to 'grow rapidly'

A number of major battery companies are investing in the technology

Silicon anode market to 'grow rapidly'
Currently silicon anodes account for only about 1pc of the anode material market

The silicon anode material market is expected to grow more than twentyfold by 2035 as the technology becomes established in the EV supply chain, according to a report from South Korean research firm SNE Research.

SNE Research forecasts that demand for silicon anode materials will grow from 10,000 tonnes per year in 2023 to 39,000 tonnes in 2025, 157,000 tonnes in 2030, and 285,000 tonnes in 2035.

Silicon can be used to replace some of the graphite in a battery anode to increase energy density by 4-10 times compared to existing graphite anode materials.

Some firms believe they have the ability to deliver 100pc silicon anodes.

Currently silicon anodes account for only about 1pc of the total anode material market of 1.034 mn tonnes per year. 

But major battery companies such as SK On, LG and Posco are developing silicon anode materials and will begin mass production soon.

The three biggest graphite anode material firms in China — BTR, BASF- ShanShan, and Putaili — are also planning to develop and produce silicon anode materials. 

SNE research expects silicon anodes to reach a 10pc market penetration rate by 2035, with the market being worth $6.6bn by that date.

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Prices are also expected to fall from current levels of $70/kg to $27/kg by 2030. 

Silicon anode technology still has some barriers to be overcome, including a tendency to expand, the report notes. 

“If silicon's unique swelling properties can be controlled well and the unit cost can be lowered, expectations are rising that it will be a material that can upgrade the performance of secondary batteries to the next level,” says the SNE Research report.

Some firms, such as Sila, which is working with Panasonic, have developed a silicon material that they say suppresses expansion.

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