I would not say "non toxic" or "safe" in regard to the aforementioned article:

It's all focused on a new easier and more economical way to produce nano-silicons which will be used as the anode material in place of the common graphite.

They say the enhanced porosity of the newly developed silica nano-sand is the key to have more surface, e.g. more current density, which is a very good thing.

But nowhere there looks to be an improvement on the safety or toxicity of lithium...

Maybe I misunderstood something, feel free to correct me

I believe there's a misunderstanding. It's a non toxic production method, not a non toxic cell.