Dow and HPL Sign Li-ion Technology Transfer Agreement; Dow Kokam JV Acquires Assets of Kokam America
The Dow Chemical Company announced the transfer to Dow of collective assets from HPL (High Power Lithium). HPL was spun out from Professor Graetzel’s laboratory at the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland) in 2003 and is focused on the development of nano-structured metal oxide energy storage materials and novel electrolytes for use in next generation lithium ion batteries.
HPL is financed by the founders, Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures, Initiative Capital Romandie (managed by DEFI-Gestion), Bankinvest New Energy Solutions and private investors.
HPL has made critical strides in developing next generation metal phosphate electrode materials and electrolyte system technology. HPL’s exciting phosphate technology brings a combination of safety and increased energy density that when applied to Dow’s Energy Storage Solutions business will significantly enhance Dow’s offering of component materials to the lithium ion battery markets.—Bill Banholzer, CTO and executive vice president for Dow
HPL brings synthesis and development of novel nano-materials, the ability to process and optimize nano-materials for use in battery electrodes and cells, comprehensive physical and electrochemical characterization facilities and screening and development of novel electrolytes and systems.
At the Advanced Automotive Batteries Conference in Long Beach, California earlier this year, HPL presented the current status of its work with nanostructured lithium manganese phosphate (LiMnPO4, LMPO) materials and cells for automotive applications.
A prototype HPL 18650 LMPO cell using HPL’s Gen 2.1 LMPO material supports a voltage range of 4.25V - 2V. Capacity at 1C is 900 mAh. In essence, HPL’s cathode material combines the benefits of a phosphate (low cost; over- and under-charge resilience; structural stability; good cycle life; thermal stability) with the higher voltage benefits of an oxide material. Higher voltage means fewer cells in series and less electronics cost, according to HPL.
Dow Kokam. Separately, Dow Kokam LLC acquired substantially all of the assets of Kokam America Inc., a leader in the lithium rechargeable battery market and source of Dow Kokam’s superior lithium polymer battery technology.
Kokam America, a Lee’s Summit, Missouri-based corporation formed in October 2005, has supplied battery sustainment to the US Department of Defense with advanced battery products developed, designed and patented by Kokam Co., Ltd. in South Korea.
Kokam Co. Ltd. is the primary patent holder of the Superior Lithium Polymer Battery (SLPB) technology. Through the acquisition of Kokam America's assets, Dow Kokam has the equipment and the capacity to manufacture the widest range of lithium polymer cells in production today and to extend its offering to the electric mobility industry.
Dow Kokam, a joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and TK Advanced Battery LLC, was established in 2009 to develop and manufacture advanced energy storage technologies for the transportation and other industries.
In September, Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault (Dassault) and Dow Kokam LLC signed an agreement that outlines the intention to combine the business activities of Dassault’s Société de Vehicles Electriques (SVE) unit with Dow Kokam, making Dassault a minority owner of Dow Kokam. The companies said that the agreement will enable them to address early electric vehicle customer needs by leveraging Dassault’s capabilities and experience in advanced battery systems with Dow Kokam’s cell technology. (Earlier post.)