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PPK cracks $1 billion after major battery tech breakthrough


Brisbane firm PPK and Deakin University have claimed a major breakthrough in battery technology that could revolutionise electric vehicles, phones and everyday technology.

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The expectation of a breakthrough has been pushing PPK’s share higher for several weeks and this afternoon it crashed through $1 billion in market value with a share price rise of more than 10 per cent to $1.059 billion. Its value has jumped more than 200 per cent in a year.

PPK announced this afternoon that its joint venture with Deakin, Li-S Energy, had developed a “revolutionary” lithium-sulphur battery using boron nitrate nanotubes, a material vastly stronger than steel but significantly lighter and also capable of protecting technology from heat.

“Li-S Energy intends to optimise the design, the scale up the production of the new batteries over the coming years for which there are almost unlimited potential uses including the possibility of an electric car that needs charging every 1000km, a phone with a one-week battery life, off-grid solar/battery, street lighting and drones with several hours of flight time,” PPK said.

The current range of an electric vehicle is about 480km and the cost of batteries accounts for about a third of the price.

Li-S has lodged two patents over the technology.

Li-S chief executive Dr Lee Finniear said the company had achieved a significant innovation breakthrough.

“The commercialisation journey for Li-S has just begun and is on track to showcase this Australian company as a recognised world leader in this exciting industry,” he said.

PPK executive chairman Robin Levison said it was an exciting moment and follows his claim several weeks ago that the company was on the cusp of a world-changing development.

“What we see here us a real-life tangible application of BNNT to facilitate a genuine technological breakthrough with global commercial potential,” Levison said.

“This type of lithium-sulphur battery demonstrates how the unique attributes of this truly amazing product can be realised in practice.”

Lithium-sulphur batteries have been considered a “too-hard” technology and had been limited by performance which degraded quickly.

However, the Deakin team have been able to retain high energy capacity, through the use of BNNT,  for more than 450 charge and discharge cycles, which it is attempting to extend further.

Li-S recently raised $20 million in a pre-IPO capital raising.

A significant benefit for PPK is that Li-S Energy has also recently produced 1kg of BNNT over a five day period from a single production module. That would allow for production of 50kg a year, a major improvement on two years ago when only 1kg could be produced a year.






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