Utah company set to make waves with lithium-ion battery development – Daily Herald | CarTailz


Halloysite will be in the office of Ionic Mineral Technologies on Friday, November 11, 2022.

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald


Mined halloysite will be poured at the Ionic Mineral Technologies office on Friday, November 11, 2022.

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald


Processed Halloysite at the Ionic Mineral Technologies office on Friday 11th November 2022.

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald


Processed Halloysite will be on display at the Ionic Mineral Technologies offices on Friday, November 11, 2022.

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald


The Ionic Mineral Technologies logo on the corporate office wall is shown on Friday, November 11, 2022.

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald

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As the electric vehicle market booms, a Utah County company is trying to help the US break into the lithium-ion battery business.

Electric car sales hit 6.6 million in 2021, more than tripling their market share from two years earlier, according to the International Energy Agency. This growth is not expected to slow down any time soon.

Thanks in part to consumer stimulus in President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a report in BloombergNEF predicts that by 2030 more than half of U.S. auto sales will be electric.

Most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which commonly contain a combination of lithium-cobalt oxide, which is often mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and graphite, which is mined in Turkey and China.

At Ionic Mineral Technologies, Andre Zeitoun, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, oversees his team in the mining and processing of halloysite, an aluminosilicate clay mineral that can be powdered and used in existing lithium-ion battery production to replace graphite .

“We’re taking a rich resource of halloysite, which is a material from the US, and applying a very innovative approach to turn it into nano-silicon,” Zeitoun said. “This is a huge unmet market need for the electric vehicle.”

Zeitoun has been studying halloysite and its potential applications for over a decade. The Company owns and operates one of the world’s largest deposits of high-purity halloysite in Eureka, Utah and processes the mineral at its Vineyard pilot plant.

“What’s unique about halloysite is that it forms a naturally accusatory nanotube structure,” Zeitoun said. “Because of the uniqueness and structure and chemistry of this mineral, it becomes the ideal feedstock for conversion to silicon metal that the electric vehicle industry is looking for to enable faster charging, longer lasting, longer range vehicles.”

The silicon metal made with halloysite is unique in that it can overcome some of the major limitations that graphite presents in lithium-ion batteries. Replacing silicon with graphite can improve the power density of an electric vehicle and increase charging speed.

“Eighty percent of the car can be charged in five minutes,” Zeitoun said. “Once that’s achieved, we’re going to see charging stations everywhere, gas stations because you can get on and off as fast as it takes a tank of gas.”

Ultimately, Ionic Mineral Technologies’ mission is to become the world’s leading producer of nano-silicon anode powders and critical mineral by-products for the next generation of advanced lithium-ion batteries.

To achieve this goal, the company is currently constructing a 3,600 square meter production facility in Provo, which will be completed by July 2023.

“I think we really have an opportunity to build a pretty big business here in Utah,” Zeitoun said.


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