BASF broke ground on a $50+ million facility in Elyria, Ohio to produce advanced cathode materials for automotive lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.) The new production facility in Elyria is being built with the help of a $24.6-million grant from the DOE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
BASF is one of only two licensed suppliers of the Argonne National Laboratory’s (ANL) patented Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) cathode materials, which employ a combination of lithium and manganese-rich mixed metal oxides. The license covers the broadest scope of NCM chemistry that can be used in today’s lithium-ion batteries. The plant is due to come online in 2012.
Since 2005, BASF has invested significantly in lithium-ion cathode materials research and development. In 2009, BASF and ANL signed a worldwide licensing agreement under which BASF would mass produce and market ANL’s patented lithium-stabilized NCM cathode materials for use in advanced batteries that have higher energy density, are longer-lasting, and offer improved safety due to higher temperature stability.
As part of its long-term strategy to invest in cathode materials, BASF will continue to further lithium-ion battery application development at its research facilities in Beachwood, Ohio, and Ludwigshafen, Germany.