Australian graphite miner Talga Resources has announced commissioning of its Phase 2 processing plant in Germany, an expansion which will see increased capacity for their development of graphene production techniques.
Although not yet up to full scale mining at its Vittangi project in Sweden, Talga has aimed to develop graphite and graphene product specifications and identify applications that will improve the performance of existing industrial materials.
New production cells installed at the Rudolstadt test-work facility have upgraded processing ability from 10kg to 50kg slabs of graphite per cell, with a total ore feed capacity of 365kg.
Talga utilises electrochemical exfoliation to “unzip” layers of graphite at the atomic level from raw slabs of high grade Vittangi graphite, as well as a proprietary recovery and concentration process.
Talga managing director Mark Thompson said the company the processing plant upgrade marked a transition into a better understanding of graphene manufacture.
“Commencement of Phase 2 commissioning is an exciting milestone for Talga…”
-Mark Thompson, Managing Director
“Commencement of Phase 2 commissioning is an exciting milestone for Talga, marking a transition from setting the foundations and achieving a better understanding of the fundamentals that impact graphene manufacturing – at a scale well beyond that possible in a laboratory,” he said.
According to Talga Resources, the Phase 2 expansion uses two 50kg feed capacity cells, while additions have also been made to the smaller Phase 1 cells, enabling processing of graphite slabs of 10kg, 15kg and 50kg.
Talga’s Vittangi graphite has shown high-level test results for use as lithium-ion battery anodes, and applications for production technologies (fuel cells, solar panels) and storage technologies (solid state and flow batteries, thermal storage) are currently being investigated.
New programs which will testing Talga micrographite and graphene have commenced at the Centre for Advanced Electronics Dresden and the Energy Innovation Centre at University of Warwick, UK.
Previous test work on Vittangi graphite showed particle distribution occurring naturally below 40 microns, with most particles below 10 microns.