POSCO acquires domestic producer of silicon-based anode materials for batteries

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 5, 2022, 18:53 Updated : July 5, 2022, 18:53

[Courtesy of POSCO]

SEOUL -- South Korea's leading steel group POSCO unveiled a new goal to boost the production of key materials for batteries after acquiring a domestic manufacturer of silicon-based anode materials in a deal that would help reduce the group's dependence on Chinese raw materials.

 POSCO Holdings said it has signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire 100 percent of Tera Technos, a silicon anode startup with a high-temperature liquid production technology with excellent heat transfer. The group will secure a mass-production system for commercial production in the first half of 2024. Production can be expanded further according to market conditions.

"Posco Group, which is the only supplier of secondary battery materials in the world from lithium and nickel to cathode materials, will be able to expand its portfolio in the field of anode materials through the acquisition of Tera Technos," Yoo Byeong-og, head of POSCO Holdings' eco-friendly future materials team, said in a statement on July 5. 

  Anodes play an important role inside a high-capacity battery. The more ions the anode can hold, the higher its energy capacity. Graphite anodes are widely used for lithium-ion batteries, but researchers have tried to find a better solution because structural deformation occurs in graphite when charging and discharging are repeated, leading to a shorter life of batteries.

Silicon is a promising anode material and shows higher energy density than graphite, but high-capacity active materials suffer from large volume changes during charging and discharging processes. Researchers and battery makers have tried to acquire technology for the production of a composite anode material with low silicon content.

The steel group regards battery materials as its next growth engine. At a session with investors on July 5, POSCO Holdings revealed a new goal to produce 610,000 tons of cathode materials, 320,000 tons of anode materials, 300,000 tons of lithium and 22,000 tons of nickel annually by 2030.

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