Attendance at InterBattery 2019, Korea
Altech's exhibition booth was manned by managing director Iggy Tan, alternate director Uwe Ahrens, general manager operations Dr Jingyuan Liu and process engineer Ms Summer Qi.
Turnout at the booth was strong; the Company's attendance at the exhibition is an important part of building the "Altech" brand as an emerging supplier of high quality 4N high purity alumina (HPA).
HPA is crucial for the lithium-ion battery industry as is it used as a coating on the separator sheets that divide the cathode and anode electrodes within a battery. The separator sheet membrane acts as a critical safety barrier inside the battery, the separator's role is to ensure that the battery anode and cathode electrodes do not come into contact and "short-circuit", which if this were to occur a thermal runaway would result.
HPA coated battery separators (or "ceramic-coated" separators) are able to tolerate the ever increasing lithiumion battery operating temperatures. Higher battery operating temperatures are the product of advances in cathode technology, which has resulted in an increase in the amount of energy being stored, discharged and recharged within the lithium-ion battery's confined space. A ceramic-coated separator has a significantly higher shrinkage temperature compared to a conventional non-coated polymer separator, plus ceramic-coated separators exhibit reduced flammability should a thermal runaway commence, these attributes result in a much safer battery.
Using a ceramic-coated separator within a lithium-ion battery also increases the battery's discharge rate; lowers self-discharge; and increases the battery's life cycle (number of re-charges). Not all lithium-ion batteries use ceramic-coated separators, which are predominantly used in high energy density batteries, the type that are required for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage.
HPA particle size is crucial for its application in ceramic-coated separators, for this application HPA is required to be ultra-fine, with a particle size of less than 2 microns. Altech's 4,500tpa HPA plant that currently under construction in Malaysia is designed to achieve this ultra-fine specification. Given the global move towards lithium-ion battery powered electric vehicles and renewable energy storage, HPA's role in this sector is forecast to be increasingly significant.
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About Altech Chemicals Ltd
HPA is a high-value, high margin and highly demanded product as it is the critical ingredient required for the production of synthetic sapphire. Synthetic sapphire is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry, and scratch-resistant sapphire glass used for wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components. There is no substitute for HPA in the manufacture of synthetic sapphire.
Global HPA demand is approximately 25,315tpa (2016) and demand is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7% (2016-2024), primarily driven by the growth in worldwide adoption of LEDs. As an energy efficient, longer lasting and lower operating cost form of lighting, LED lighting is replacing the traditional incandescent bulbs.
Altech Chemicals Ltd