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Panasonic Energy partners with NOVONIX for securing supply of synthetic graphite

An image of Novonix's proprietary graphite furnace.

Panasonic Energy (Panasonic Group), the global leader in innovative battery technology said that it has signed a binding offtake agreement with Australia-based NOVONIX Ltd, for the supply of synthetic graphite used in electric vehicles.

Synthetic graphite forms the main component of the anodes of the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs. The new partnership will enable Panasonic Energy to use synthetic graphite in its EV battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S., with shipments scheduled to start in 2025 from NOVONIX's facility in Tennessee.

"This agreement will allow Panasonic Energy to leverage NOVONIX's innovative environmental technology and procure 10,000 tons of graphite from NOVONIX's North American operations over four years, a strategically important step in the reduction of the environmental impact of its supply chain," Panasonic Energy said in a statement.

The latest move by Panasonic Energy aligns with the company's medium- to long-term strategy that aims to strengthen its North America-focused supply chain and reduce its carbon footprint.

When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, synthetic graphite offers enhanced battery durability compared to natural graphite enabling reliable performance during several cycles of charging and discharging. However, a major drawback in the traditional methods of synthetic graphite production is that it involves lengthy high-temperature treatment which poses environmental challenges due to its high energy consumption -- resulting in carbon emissions.

NOVONIX claims its proprietary graphitization furnaces are unique when it comes to large-scale production of synthetic graphite as they reduce an otherwise lengthy process to around three days per cycle.

"This innovation is expected to reduce the levels of CO2 emitted during the production of synthetic graphite compared to conventional Acheson furnaces. It represents a significant contribution towards Panasonic Energy's goal of halving its carbon footprint, and demonstrates its commitment to environmental sustainability," Panasonic Energy added. 

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Author : Shraddha Kakade
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