BASF inaugurates battery materials R&D and application center in Japan; focus on Li-ion electrolytes and electrodes
BASF inaugurated its Research and Development Laboratory and Application Technology Center for Battery Materials in Amagasaki, Japan. The facility, located in the Amagasaki Research Incubation Center (ARIC), is BASF’s first combined battery materials research and development (R&D) and application technology operation in Asia Pacific.
The Amagasaki laboratory will focus on developing electrolytes and electrode materials for high-performance lithium ion batteries as part of BASF’s global R&D network, leveraging technology platforms from around the world. In addition, the Amagasaki laboratory will run development programs jointly with Japanese customers.
The total investment for the new Amagasaki facility, which covers new offices and laboratories located at a 600 square meter site, is several million euros.
The laboratory will combine organic and inorganic synthesis, analytics and electrochemical testing within one group. This facilitates understanding of how different materials such as electrodes and electrolytes interact with each other in battery applications, thus supporting materials optimization.
In addition, the company will benefit from increased synergies with existing BASF teams that are researching chemistry for use in organic photovoltaic cells and electronic materials.
In the battery materials segment, BASF currently operates six production plants and pilot production sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Elyria and Beachwood, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Troy, Michigan; and Suzhou, China; as well as six R&D sites in Ludwigshafen; Beachwood and Independence, Ohio; Rochester Hills, Michigan; Suzhou, China; and Amagasaki, Japan.
BASF is investing several hundred million euros in advanced battery materials research, development, and manufacturing projects, between 2011 and 2016. To strengthen its global position in this field, BASF announced in October 2013 that it will invest $25 million in renovating and expanding its research and development facility in Beachwood, Ohio.
As one of the battery industry’s leading suppliers, BASF will have R&D facilities in all three markets ( North America, Europe and Asia Pacific) that support customers’ individual requirements. BASF expects global sales from the battery materials business of at least €500 million (US$676 million) by the year 2020.
To achieve this, BASF has been implementing a strategic business plan since the founding of the Battery Materials business unit in 2012, acquiring and entering licensing agreements with various cathode material and electrolyte businesses and strengthening its battery materials technical infrastructure and access to the global market.