SINGAPORE (July 9): Patrick Yong, CEO of Malaysia Smelting Corp (MSC), is excited about tin. “A lot of people think tin is a sunset industry. Hardly. It’s the most exciting non-ferrous metal now, to me. And a lot of people share that opinion too,” Yong says. While tin today is widely used for canning and soldering, new uses of the metal are still being discovered. Among the most exciting: batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

As researchers try to make batteries for EVs that can charge up more quickly, store more power and last longer, tin is increasingly coming up as a viable solution. For instance, engineers at Cornell University recently found that tin is an effective means of protecting lithium and sodium anodes, which have greater capacity than the currently used graphite anodes but are highly reactive with battery electrolytes.

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that an alloy of aluminium, zinc, and tin with lithium was able to double the charge capacity of lithium-ion batteries. The technology is not quite ready yet. But MSC has other things going for it. Yong has a PhD in electrical engineering and is putting it to good use doing something that has never been done before: convert a lead smelting facility into one that can smelt tin.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook