Albemarle to invest with and in 6K
Albemarle has signed a joint development agreement with 6K, a specialist in microwave-controlled plasma technology, to explore the use of 6K’s UniMelt materials production platform to develop novel lithium battery materials. It has also made an undisclosed investment in 6K through Volta Energy Technologies, a venture capital firm active in the energy storage sector that is already an investor.
UniMelt is said to offer benefits for sustainable manufacturing. If a conventional 16 GWh battery cathode production plant were to be converted to using this platform, 6K claims, it would reduce CO2 emissions, water and wastewater production by 90%, 70% and 100% respectively, while requiring a 50% smaller factory footprint.
“6K technology creates the opportunity for modular manufacturing, allowing for a smaller footprint, faster construction and new models for localisation. The collaboration sets a strong foundation not only for advanced material development but also for future commercialization,” said Dr Glen Merfeld, CTO of Albemarle Lithium.