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BASF grants Pulead a sub-license under Argonne Lab NCM cathode material patents

BASF has granted China-based battery cathode producer Pulead a sub-license under Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) patents related to nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. (Earlier post.) Pulead is now licensed to make, use, sell, offer to sell, distribute and import the NCM cathode materials in the US market.

NCM cathode materials, composed of a unique combination of lithium and manganese-rich mixed metal oxides, are used for cost-effective high energy, safety and long-life batteries for many applications. Due to a very high degree of purity and excellent product characteristics, these materials are well-suited for evolving requirements of batteries in automotive drivetrains.

BASF’s license from Argonne covers the broadest scope of NCM chemistry which can be used in today's lithium-ion batteries. This includes lithium stabilization (molar ratio of lithium to other metals greater than 1) of known NCM materials, such as 111, 424, and 523, which improves power characteristics, cycle life and safety of current lithium-ion technology.

BASF is the only licensee of ANL’s prominent NCM cathode materials patents with the ability to grant sub-licenses. We are pursuing a sub-licensing strategy to other industry players so that NCM customers can be able to continue their business with the full respect to intellectual property and technology innovation, and end-users can benefit from this innovation. Customers may continue to use existing product platforms unimpeded through the supply from licensed suppliers.

Pulead as a responsible market player has a strong reputation for quality and integrity with a good customer base in the battery industry.

—Jeffrey Lou, Senior Vice President of BASF’s global battery materials

Established in 1999 by Oriental Investment Co. Ltd and Peking University, Pulead Technology Industry is one of China’s leading Li-ion battery cathode producers. Together with its strategically positioned subsidiaries and JVs in cathodes, anodes and separators as well as in upstream lithium resources and downstream large format battery packs, Pulead is becoming a key player in the Li-ion battery supply chain.

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