Under a new deal, BASF is to produce cathode active materials (CAMs) from recycled metals from its site at Battle Creek, Michigan, for use in Li-ion battery cells produced by Nanotech Energy, a US specialist in graphene-based energy storage products. The two will also partner with American Battery Technology (ABTC), a Li-ion battery recycling company in Nevada, and Toda Advanced Materials, an Ontario firm which produces CAM precursors (pCAMs) and metal hydroxide material, to establish a battery value chain for the North American consumer electronics and automotive industries.
ICL has held the groundbreaking ceremony for a $400 million, 13,000 m2, 30,000 tones/year battery materials manufacturing facility at its Carondolet site at St Louis, Missouri. Present at the event on 8 August were Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, whose department granted $197 million towards building the facility under the Investing in America agenda, and Missouri governor Mike Parson.
Cabot has announced plans for a new technology centre in Münster, Germany, which will focus on technical collaboration with customers on its battery material product lines for electric vehicles (EVs). This is due to begin operations by April 2023, with a planned expansion to be completed in 2024.
Livent has opened what will be the first of several major expansions of its operations around the world Bessemer City, North Carolina. The company has increased lithium hydroxide production capacity by 50% to address growing demand for electric vehicle battery materials. The company added aided by long-term growth opportunities and downstream incentives from the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act, which encourages use of lithium produced or processed in North America.
Battery materials maker Vianode has opened the Vianode Technology Centre (VTC) at Kristiansand, in Norway, where it had opened an industrial pilot plant in 2021. This came barely a month after the company announced an investment of €194 million in a battery materials plant at Herøya.
Following on from other recent announcements in the field, Umicore has announced a 5-50, €3 billion joint venture to supply precursor and cathode material production to the European battery cell factories of PowerCo, the Volkswagen Group’s battery company. No site has yet been chosen.
This will begin in 2025 by supplying PowerCo’s factory in Salzgitter. They aim to reach 40 GWh cell/year capacity in 2026 and to quadruple that to 160 by 2030, depending on market and demand development. This would be equivalent to what is needed to power about 2.2 million full electric vehicles.
Umicore has agreed to develop high-performance catholyte materials for solid-state batteries with Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan, combining its expertise in cathode active materials (CAMs) for lithium-ion batteries with that of Idemitsu Kosan in high-purity lithium sulfide. Catholytes combine CAMs and solid electrolytes, enabling solid-state batteries to achieve better performance.