Graphite is a major component of lithium-ion batteries, which power the many devices and vehicles we use every day. However, as market demand for lithium-ion batteries skyrockets driven by the electrification economy, so too does the environmental cost. Ārohia Trailblazer Grant recipient’s CarbonScape are the first company in the world to pioneer technology for creating sustainable, carbon negative biographite for the battery sector, using renewable forestry waste such as woodchips.
Who are CarbonScape?
CarbonScape began in 2006 as an idea to pioneer new, sustainable methods of converting waste biomass into carbon products. But as the world’s focus rapidly shifted to renewable energy and electrification – particularly of transport – it became apparent that the company should pivot its existing IP and processes.
Since 2016, CarbonScape has been refining its breakthrough technology to produce biographite anode materials for Li-ion batteries from woodchip and forestry industry residues. The company has successfully patented its technology and has developed extensive trade secrets, which enable localised biographite production almost anywhere in the world.
CarbonScape’s benefits to the innovation ecosystem
CarbonScape has a comprehensive suite of analytics and specialised production equipment and will extend its capabilities as part of this project grant. The ‘tough tech’ business will enable the New Zealand innovation ecosystem to access a world-class battery and cell testing facility and will be the only facility in the country able to make and test commercial-level pouch cells.
Specialised equipment will be made available to others developing new materials and innovative products. This includes, battery system developers and suppliers, along with anyone looking to develop high-value products from forestry or primary industry raw materials.
The biomaterials and biorefinery industries are poised for significant global growth in the coming decade, and CarbonScape can provide momentum and create synergistic opportunities for other Kiwi operated businesses in this field.
What the panel had to say about CarbonScape:
Carbonscape’s technology is genuinely exciting, and could disrupt the market and solve a global problem.
It’s clear that Carbonscape are playing in a very interesting space and attracting attention from all across the globe but they remain committed to perfecting the product and creating a successful business right here in Aotearoa New Zealand. The battery and cell facilities they are proposing has the potential to positively impact many, many Kiwi businesses.
How CarbonScape will be investing their grant
CarbonScape is commercialising its high-quality biographite anode product for the Li-ion battery industry. This will involve creating a world class battery testing facility in New Zealand, securing offtake agreements with customers, building supply chain relationships, and advancing engineering, financing and project development for the first large scale plant.
CarbonScape’s patented biographite presents the global lithium-ion battery industry with a drop-in alternative to traditionally produced synthetic and mined graphite, both of which are carbon-intensive. Our breakthrough technology enables local production, creating high-performance biographite with a negative carbon footprint. The market size for graphite anode is expected to grow over tenfold from 2023 to 2030, with the EU and US markets forecasted to demand approximately 2 million tonnes by 2030. CarbonScape is targeting a 10% market share by 2030, representing a USD 2 billion opportunity, and we are delighted to receive this grant and recognition from Callaghan Innovation..
Oliver Foster, CarbonScape CFO