Mumbai’s Epsilon Pivots To Future With Graphite Anode Facility

Mumbai’s Epsilon Pivots To Future With Graphite Anode Facility

Mumbai-headquartered Epsilon Carbon, a 10 year old firm in the business of coal chemical distillation has just made its next big move. From coal tar derivatives to lithium storage batteries. The firm has commissioned a new 5000-tonne per annum facility to manufacture synthetic graphite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. It expects to ramp up capacity to 50,000 tonnes over the next 5 years.

Li-ion battery in India

The new battery materials business is housed under a new subsidiary, Epsilon Advanced Materials, formed in 2016  with a vision to develop and manufacture quality, innovative and high performance carbon products for anode components of Lithium-ion Batteries.

In a typical  lithium ion battery, there is an anode, a cathode, separator, electrolyte, and two current collectors (positive and negative). The anode and cathode store the lithium. The electrolyte carries positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode and vice versa through the separator. The Anode is the negative or reducing electrode that releases electrons to the external circuit and oxidizes during and electrochemical reaction. The cathode is of course the metal ion.

Epsilon Advanced Materials has the advantage of sourcing raw tar from its parent firm, before converting it to the synthetic graphite anode material. The company says this allows it to supply consistent and high-quality anode materials to the Lithium battery supply chain. The firm claims it will be the world’s first and only 100% backward-integrated facility producing synthetic graphite. It will be based on coal tar-based feedstock. As the only company globally that has a full backward integration from raw coal tar to synthetic graphite they will be able to avoid variations in their customer’s products due to inconsistencies in raw materials.

It is also exploring working with Si-Graphite anode players to develop the next generation of Si-Graphite composite anodes jointly.

Firms like Epsilon advanced Materials will play a significant role as India moves towards some level of self sufficiency or domestic production in the lithium storage space, by offering key materials in the supply chain domestically. By aiming for the global market, the firm will obviously look to be globally competitive, which augurs well for potential buyers in India too.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International