Evonik, which incorporates the former Degussa AG, is stepping up its investment in Lithium-ion batteries and has doubled its stake in Li-Tec Battery GmbH to 40%. Li-Tec uses Evonik’s Separion flexible ceramic separator and Litarion electrodes (developed in partnership with Enax, earlier post) to manufacture lithium-ion cells.
Litarion cathodes are based on the new generation of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) materials. High-energy type anodes contain graphite as the active material; the high-power type is based on hard carbon.
Evonik began work on a production plant for electrodes for large-format lithium-ion batteries at Li-Tec’s site in Kamenz in January 2006. Annual production capacity is designed to meet demand for around 30,000 batteries. Following start-up of the first Li-Tec production line in April, the next expansion phase is planned for this month.
Our goal is to be Europe’s leading producer of lithium-ion battery components because this future market looks set to grow rapidly in the next few years.— Dr. Werner Müller, Chairman of Evonik’s Executive Board
Evonik is targeting serial production for autos starting in 2010/2011, according to Dr. Müller.
Evonik and Li-Tec are members of the Lithium Ionen Batterie LIB 2015 (Lithium-Ion Battery LIB 2015) consortium which includes Bosch, BASF, and VW. The consortium will invest €360 million (US$556 million) for research and development of lithium-ion batteries. This will be supplemented by €60 million (US$93 million) in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) over the next three years.