The Dow Chemical Company announced that its 50-50 joint venture with Ube Industries, Ltd., Advanced Electrolyte Technologies LLC, has secured all necessary regulatory approvals. (Earlier post.) The joint venture company will manufacture formulated electrolytes for lithium-ion battery cell manufacturers in the energy storage market.
Functional electrolytes use small amounts of chemical additives mixed in a highly-purified electrolyte base to introduce a specific high-performance functionality, or role, in the electrolyte system. Various compounds are already in use as electrolyte additives, including agents for anode passivation (SEI), cathode protection (cathode SEI), overcharge protection, wettability improvement, flame retardation, trapping of undesired components, and improving electrolyte conductivity, among many others.
The formation of Advanced Electrolyte Technologies (AET) was first announced in July. AET plans on constructing a manufacturing facility with the capacity of producing 5,000 tons of electrolytes per year at Dow’s Michigan Operations in Midland, Michigan. Production startup for the new facility is expected in late 2012. AET also has future plans to construct manufacturing facilities in China and Europe.
In addition, AET has named its executive leadership team. Toshimitsu Takahashi, president and CEO of Ube America, will hold the title of CEO. Koichi Ichinose, commercial director at Dow Automotive Systems, will serve as Chief Operating Officer, while Janet Holmes, global finance manager at Dow Automotive Systems, will be the Chief Financial Officer. Junji Tabuchi, deputy general manager of Ube, will serve as Secretary of the joint venture.