Rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology has received a huge boost with the -investment of £40 million in Nexeon, the company pioneering the use of silicon -anodes in place of carbon. The investment is being led by ¬existing investor, Imperial Innovations Group and includes Invesco Perpetual.

The new funding is being used to establish a world class manufacturing ¬facility, scaling up production of the latest ¬silicon anode materials to around 250 tonnes per annum on a commercial supply level.

Use of silicon anodes in Li-ion batteries produces a significantly higher performance and overcomes the limitations of present-day technology.

Batteries with higher energy density can offer longer time between charges, higher power output and smaller size.

They are eagerly awaited for integration in cell phones, laptops and many other consumer devices, as well as having important application in electric vehicles and in storage of renewable energy.

The latest funding brings the total raised by Nexeon to £55 million, and will allow the company to further accelerate application development and increase support for its customers.

The investment comes at an ideal time for Nexeon as strong progress is being made in commercial negotiations and customer-led projects.

Customer commitment is now being gained with major global companies in the fields of consumer electronics and ¬automotive in particular.

The company recently announced that it has produced sample cells with significantly higher capacity for their size than the best current commercial equivalents.