Phillips 66 and NOVONIX to produce synthetic graphite anode
Photo courtesy of NOVONIX

Phillips 66 and NOVONIX to produce synthetic graphite anode

U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 and NOVONIX Limited have signed a technology development agreement to advance the production and commercialization of next-generation anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Synthetic graphite anode material is prized in lithium-ion battery applications for its superior cycle performance, cycle stability (lifetime), fast charging, and manufacturing due in part to its higher purity.

Phillips 66, a leading global manufacturer of specialty coke, a key precursor to the synthetic graphite anode material NOVONIX produces, is one of the few downstream companies with an in-house research and development organization. Its Energy Research & Innovation group works on developing lower-carbon technologies to support the energy transition, including next-generation batteries.

NOVONIX is a leading producer of synthetic graphite anode materials used in the making of lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles, personal electronics, medical devices and energy storage units. NOVONIX’s anode materials business is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A., where it is increasing capacity to produce 10,000 metric tons per year (mt/year) of synthetic graphite by 2023, 40,000 mt/year by 2025 and 150,000 mt/year by 2030.

“This agreement builds on our strategic investment in NOVONIX and is a natural next step for two companies committed to innovation and a lower-carbon future,” said Ann Oglesby, vice president of Energy Research & Innovation at Phillips 66. “It sets the framework for the companies to work closely and collaboratively to accelerate the development of next-generation materials for the U.S. battery supply chain.”

Phillips 66 became a major investor in NOVONIX in September 2021, when it acquired a 16% stake in the Australian company. The investment is supporting NOVONIX’s growth as it scales up production and develops new technologies for higher-performance energy storage applications.

“We are excited to further our relationship with Phillips 66, and together we plan to develop integral processes, from manufacturing precursor materials to producing high-capacity long-life synthetic graphite anode material intended to improve battery performance, lower cost and decrease environmental impact,” said NOVONIX CEO Chris Burns, Ph.D. “We believe NOVONIX is currently the only supplier with plans to provide large volumes of synthetic graphite anode material in the U.S., and this partnership will accelerate our mission to establish a North American supply chain to power the growing battery sector and facilitate a sustainable future.”

Under the agreement, Phillips 66 and NOVONIX will leverage leading positions in their respective industries—as well as existing intellectual property and R&D capabilities—to drive commercial development of optimized feedstocks and lithium-ion anode materials with reduced carbon-intensive processing.

Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company, with a portfolio of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, headquartered in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.