Juan Jose Vilatela 0:00
Hi there. Good afternoon. I'm Juan Jose Vilatela , and it is my great pleasure to come here today to this inspiring event. And tell you a little bit about Floatech. Floatech is a spin-off company fromI IMDEA Materials, a research centers in Madrid. And we have the ambition to become one of the main producers of electrodes for the next generation of batteries. And that's what I want to tell you more about. And this deals with nanomaterials and silicone as well. So just a bit of context. You know, just as batteries have power, the electronics that shaped the world over the last couple of decades, we can be sure that they will transform the world similarly, or to a similar extent, over the next couple of decades. And they will particularly deal with or influence mobility, and infrastructure. And of course, this comes with a lot of interesting challenges. We need to improve our ability to manufacture batteries by tenfold roughly. So this is on a very large scale. And in Europe, particularly where we have no manufacturing facilities in many areas.
Juan Jose Vilatela 1:10
But this is a great opportunity, because we can reduce, very significantly, greenhouse gas emissions. So batteries are already large contributors to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And, of course, it means that there's a huge market for it. So just by 2025, there'll be about 30 million electric vehicles on the road. And of course, the European Union is taking this quite seriously and funding a lot of these initiatives. Now, this comes with a lot of challenges and I want to tell you about silicon today. Now silicon is one of the key ingredients in the future of batteries. And it's in every roadmap from every continent and every country pretty much. Why? Because it is the only one of the key materials that can enable the batteries that we need for the second part of this decade, because it has 10 times more capacity than what we use these days, which is graphite. But in addition to that, it is strategic for Europe. We don't have natural graphite reserves, which is what we need for batteries. There are very, very few in Europe, and the ones that are abroad are pretty much owned or controlled by Asia, by China predominantly. So we need our own infrastructure. And our own raw materials, and graphite is abundant. Sand is essentially silicon. So the abundance of silicon is critical. Of course, if we want to do this on the scale that is necessary, it means that we need to process silicon on the order of 10s of 1000s of tons per year. So we think we are prepared for this.
Juan Jose Vilatela 2:47
Now, it is interesting to understand and hear what the industry says. And if you look at the main automotive industry companies, they have all identified silicon as a key brick in the development of the next electric vehicles. And it's not just talk, I mean, well, these guys are experts. For instance, Ford Porche, they have not just publicly highlighted the importance of silicon as an anode, but they have also backed these with very large investments. So actually, the one I highlight here from Daimer, I think is the one that Professor Gogotsi was referring to and I think he's one of his former students. But this brings me to another issue, which is the huge technological gap, or investment gap we have in Europe at the moment. So we've got this huge ambition of building giga factories or plants all over Europe that will power our electronics and our infrastructure. But that means we also need to have new processes to manufacture at least silicon. And as I'm showing you, unfortunately, most of the work has been done elsewhere. So we want Floatech to be ready to provide a differentiated technology for silica anodes of a high content. But very importantly, we're using a sustainable manufacturing process. If we want to deploy batteries on a large scale, we need to do it in a sustainable way. So how do we do this, we have a radical new process where we convert a gas into a fully finished electrode in one step. No solvents, no polymers, no energy intensive mixing. That's where the sustainability comes from.
Juan Jose Vilatela 4:34
So let me tell you a little bit more about how it compares to traditional manufacturers of electrodes. So typically, these are inks and how it's done in industry, which needs to be mixed with very nasty solvents, which then need to be recovered. There's a lot of energy that goes into mixing at high speed coating, evaporation and so on. We get rid of all of that and combine all of that into one single stage and produce a finished electrode Of course, this means that the capital costs are significantly reduced, the operation costs are reduced, and of course, the footprint in the manufacturing is significantly reduced just by eliminating solvents. We like to think that we see ourselves as at the high performance end of properties, because the silicon content of these channels is extremely high, above 75%. So if you're in the silicon business, you will recognize that this is not a drop in solution, we think the drop in solutions is business as usual and this is a radical improvement, a step change in performance for anodes.
Juan Jose Vilatela 5:39
Of course, we know that this has to be scalable, which it is and I would say that looking at the thickness of electrodes we producem there are very few cathodes that could match these anodes these days. And of course, this is translating into fuel cells, which already show performance above state of the art and of course, commercial materials. We are ready to supply electrodes for selected partners and clients. So if anyone here is interested, I would be very happy to hear from you after the talk. And we are interested in other people using this material and combining it with their cathodes or electrolytes and so on. For now our standard electrode formats, but we will be happy to produce different shapes and these electrodes are flexible. So we are also happy to look at emerging markets as well. And sorry for the distorted image there on the screen on the white screen. But I just want to finish by thanking you and highlighting to particularly the young audience that we're looking for members, enthusiastic members to join our team. And so please get in touch if you're interested. And thank you for your attention!