GDI Rolls Out Faster Silicon Anode Production

December 30, 2023 by Jake Hertz

The company has demonstrated the industry’s first MWh scale “roll-to-roll” production of silicon anodes.

The silicone anode has emerged as a battery material that could improve safety, efficiency, and density, as it offers both sustainable and energy-dense solutions. However, despite the technology’s promise, considerable challenges in its manufacturing are still preventing its widespread adoption.


GDI’s silicon anode material.

GDI’s silicon anode material. Image used courtesy of GDI


Recently, GDI, a company based in Rochester, NY, achieved a major milestone in mass-manufactured silicon anode batteries. 

A Primer on Silicon Anode Tech

Silicon anode technology could advance battery technology due to several favorable traits.

Specifically, silicon anode technology is distinguished by its significantly higher energy storage capacity than traditional graphite anodes. Silicon anodes have a specific capacity of 3570 mAh/g, roughly ten times that of conventional graphite, which offers a specific capacity of 372 mAh/g. This substantial increase in specific capacity means that silicon-based anodes can store far more energy, leading to batteries with longer life spans, faster charging capabilities, and potentially smaller and lighter designs for the same energy capacity.

Moreover, silicon is an exciting material because it is abundant. This means that silicon anodes could unlock batteries that are more affordable, sustainable, and less detrimental to the environment.


GDI’s Production Method

In collaboration with AGC, a glass and plasma coating technology leader, GDI has successfully demonstrated the first MWh scale “roll-to-roll” production of these silicon anodes—a vital step toward mass production. This process allows for a more streamlined production process, as a finished anode can be simply dropped directly into existing cell production lines. By 2028, GDI aims to achieve gigawatt-scale anode manufacturing, paving the way for its widespread use in high-performance vehicles and other applications.


GDI’s method allows the anodes to be dropped into existing cell production lines.

GDI’s method allows the anodes to be dropped into existing cell production lines. Image used courtesy of GDI


Moreover, GDI's environmentally friendly production method reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to graphite anodes. This significant reduction aligns with the growing emphasis on sustainability within the power electronics industry, making GDI’s technology innovative and environmentally conscious.


Breakthrough in Anode Technology

As verified by third-party testing, one of the most notable achievements of GDI's silicon anodes is the ability to enable rapid battery charging.

These anodes allow lithium-ion batteries to charge up to 80% in just 15 minutes, and this can be repeated hundreds of times without significant degradation. Even better, the solution also boasts an energy density of 3200 mAh/g, marking a 30% increase in energy density compared to traditional graphite anodes.

In addition to the improved charging capabilities and energy density, GDI's silicon anodes have demonstrated superior safety features. Traditional lithium-ion batteries often face a trade-off between fast charging and safety, but GDI's technology circumvents this issue. The anodes have shown remarkable resistance to thermal runaway, a common safety concern in high-energy batteries. This has been evidenced through rigorous testing, including Navitas nail penetration tests, where the cells with GDI anodes remained stable and safe even under extreme conditions.


Future Battery Market

GDI's silicon anode technology could significantly advance the battery market. With its capacity for rapid charging, high energy density, enhanced safety, scalability, and reduced environmental impact, this technology could be a game-changer, particularly in the EV sector. As the industry seeks more efficient and sustainable solutions, GDI's innovation represents a significant step forward in meeting these demands.