Project Announcement: Pitch-Derived Synthetic Graphite for Longer Life Lithium-Ion Batteries

The US Department of Defense is partnering with industry and academia on an initiative to develop of low-cost isotropic and mesophase pitch-derived synthetic graphite and battery anode-based materials to support domestic maintenance and sustainment operations.

By weight, graphite is the largest component in Li-ion batteries, where it is used as the anode, and Li-ion batteries contain 10 to 15 times more graphite than Li. For the best results in Li-ion batteries, the graphite must have high purity. Most current battery manufacturing utilizes processed natural graphite, which is limited in its customizability, and the raw materials used to produce it are obtained from foreign sources.

While synthetic graphite’s power capacity can be lower, it offers a longer cycle life with lower self-discharge and gas generation over time, resulting in superior shelf life and reliability. However, the biggest impediments to its widespread adoption have been the high cost, long production times, and low volumes of production associated with legacy production methods.

Under this effort an industry participant with the capability to develop synthetic graphite from isotropic and mesophase pitch materials will work to increase production capacity, improve material characteristics, reduce costs, and make the supply chain more robust. The industry participant will leverage its processes to develop 100 percent United States-sourced, improved production processes for isotropic and mesophase pitch that are optimal for synthetic graphite.

If you feel your organization has the technical capabilities and would like to be considered for this project, please complete the form below and upload your organization’s technical capabilities statement.

Interested Submissions Due by 8/8/2023.

We encourage the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), including Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs).