Home > News Archive > Breakthrough Solid-State Lithium Battery Technology Utilizes Applied Minerals' DRAGONITE(TM) Halloysite Clay

October 04, 2017
Breakthrough Solid-State Lithium Battery Technology Utilizes Applied Minerals' DRAGONITE(TM) Halloysite Clay
  • DRAGONITE-based polymer electrolytes developed by the University of Utah expected to accelerate the commercialization of solid-state lithium batteries
  • DRAGONITE-based technology is of interest to a number of leading battery manufacturers
  • Total potential market opportunity of DRAGONITE for use in polymer electrolytes estimated at $100 million per annum by the University of Utah


Applied Minerals, Inc. (the "Company" or "Applied Minerals") (AMNL), a leading global producer of halloysite clay and advanced natural iron oxides, is pleased to announce that the State of Utah has awarded a USTAR/UTAG grant of $191,700 to a research team from the University of Utah to further its development of solid polymer electrolytes ("SPE") that utilize DRAGONITE halloysite clay for use in solid-state lithium ("Li") batteries.

Professor Jan D. Miller and a group of researchers from the University of Utah's College of Mines and Earth Sciences have developed a new DRAGONITE-based SPE, which is expected to accelerate the commercial adoption of solid-state Li battery technology. Solid-state Li batteries have greater storage capacity, longer cycle lives and are less costly to produce than conventional liquid and gel-based Li batteries. Furthermore, solid-state Li batteries also eliminate the flammability risk associated with liquid and gel-based technologies. Professor Miller's research team includes Professor Xuming Wang of University of Utah, Research Assistant Qinyu Zhu of University Utah and Professors Jin Liu and Yue Lin of Central South University (China).

Additional research support is being provided by Applied Minerals and a team from Brigham Young University led by Professor John Harb.

Technological Challenge of the Solid-Sate Li Battery Market
The development of electric vehicles, solar energy systems and portable electronic devices has created a growing demand for enhanced energy storage systems. Up to now this need for energy storage capacity has been served by gel and liquid-based Li battery technology. As the demand for both increased storage capacity and improved safety has grown, electric vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota, Panasonic, Tesla and BMW have announced their intentions to develop all-solid-state Li batteries. Solid-state Li batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid or gel-based ones, making them safer than the conventional lithium-ion batteries currently being utilized. However, the performance and rate of commercial adoption of solid-state Li batteries have been hampered by conductivity issues of current solid-state Li battery technology related to the crystallization of solid polymer electrolytes over a wide range of operating temperatures.

Technological Breakthrough - Role of DRAGONITE
Professor Miller's group of researchers has demonstrated how the incorporation of DRAGONITE into a polymer electrolyte prevents crystallization over a range of operating temperatures and, consequently, eliminates the resulting conductivity losses experienced by today's solid-state Li battery technologies. This breakthrough is due primarily to the unique surface properties of DRAGONITE's nano-tubular morphology, which creates multi-dimensional pathways that enhance the conductivity of electrolyte materials.

http://www.sciencedirect.com=""> For more information regarding the development of solid-state Li battery technology using DRAGONITE halloysite clay link to the paper titled Natural halloysite nano-clay electrolyte for advanced all-solid-state lithium sulphur batteries

According to Professor Miller, "The discovery of the use of DRAGONITE halloysite clay for the development of advanced Li battery technology, including its use in the design and fabrication of SPEs and special cathodes, has been an exciting opportunity for our research group. We are currently engaged in the optimization of DRAGONITE halloysite nanotube applications for various types of Li batteries with scale-up efforts in progress."

Andre Zeitoun, President & CEO of Applied Minerals, added: "Applied Minerals continuously seeks to establish relationships with thought leaders from the scientific community that are capable of developing novel-based solutions utilizing the unique characteristics of our halloysite-based DRAGONITE products. We are truly excited and honored to be a partner in the USTAR/UTAG research program and look forward to continuing our support of Jan Miller's group in bringing this significant technological breakthrough to market."

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The following are safe harbor statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for Applied Minerals, Inc. Some statements contained or implied in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements, which by their nature are uncertain. Consequently, actual results could materially differ. For more detailed information concerning how risks and uncertainties could affect the Company's financial results, please refer to Applied Minerals' most recent filings with the SEC. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information.