The start-up company PCC Thorion GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of PCC SE, develops and commercializes innovative battery components based on nano silicon powder. PCC Thrion GmbH has joined forces with Fraunhofer ISE to develop a silicon-carbon composite designed to enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries. As an anode active material, this high-tech advancement offers an energy density several times higher than conventionally used graphite. It thus significantly increases the capacity of lithium-ion batteries, facilitating substantially longer charging cycles – and also shorter charging times in, for example, electric cars. The two partners are to use silicon as a starting material in their cooperation project, a substance produced with good sustainability and climate compatibility by PCC’s Icelandic company PCC BakkiSilicon hf. using 100 percent green electricity from geothermal energy. The silicon metal powder produced by PCC down to nanometer fineness is to be integrated within a silicon-carbon composite using technology developed by Fraunhofer ISE.

Cooperation partners:PCC SE: Climate-neutral production of silicon metal in Iceland

Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany: Development of a silicon-carbon composite material for lithium-ion batteries with scale-up to industrial mass production.

Innovation:The silicon-carbon composite developed by PCC SE and Fraunhofer ISE significantly increases both the energy density and the fast-charging capability of lithium-ion batteries. The novel material thus enables a significant increase in battery capacity and therefore also much longer journey times without charging stops in automotive applications.
The high-end composite is designed as a drop-in solution, allowing for the easy replacement of graphite in existing battery cell manufacturing lines.
PCC SE’s project objectiveDevelopment of a further field of application in battery technology for the silicon metal produced by PCC BakkiSilicon hf. in Iceland. This new departure offers high demand potential due to the general trend toward carbon-neutral technologies (climate protection targets in Germany, the EU and at the international level).

The performance enhancements achieved in Li-ion batteries through this innovative PCC SE / Fraunhofer ISE development will generate high demand in the field of electromobility, a key application for the attainment of climate neutrality in human activity.

For PCC SE, the joint project is a further step in its strategy to advance its portfolio with sustainable key solutions that contribute to tackling global challenges, and particularly that of climate change.

Project timeline:2021:

  • December 21, 2021 sees PCC SE and Fraunhofer ISE sign agreements covering a long-term joint research and development program.


  • Establishing PCC Thorion GmbH, a start-up company developing and commercializing innovative battery components based on nano silicon powder.