Novonix Ltd. announced a strategic alliance with Buffalo, N.Y.-based Harper International to develop specialized furnace technology that will enhance Novonix’s synthetic graphite manufacturing process. The alliance specifies commitments from Novonix to purchase from Harper and commitments from Harper to develop and supply Novonix with proprietary systems for thermal-processing material for the battery anode market. Engineering and production of the first Harper-built system developed under this alliance is underway, and installation is scheduled to begin in February 2021.

Novonix’s PUREgraphite anode material plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is ramping up capacity to 2,000 tons/year of synthetic graphite. This includes supply of an initial 500 tons to Samsung SDI, one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery makers for EVs. Novonix also has a non-binding agreement with Sanyo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Panasonic Corp. and another leading battery producer, to assess production materials from this plant.

According to Novonix, this relationship provides a local, established supplier of key equipment that will enable the company to produce greater quantities of material and scale more quickly and cost effectively.

Harper Vice President Paul Elwell said, “We are excited to join forces with Novonix to further enable their expansion of graphite manufacturing in the United States aimed at supporting electric vehicles and energy storage systems.”