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BASF entering into business of electrolytes for Li-ion batteries

BASF is entering the business of electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and is forming a global electrolytes team in its Intermediates division for this purpose. By adding electrolytes to its existing portfolio for the LIB industry, BASF will offer another key component for the battery technology.

BASF is one of the 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. (Earlier post.)

In October 2010, BASF broke ground on a $50+ million facility in Elyria, Ohio to produce advanced cathode materials for automotive lithium-ion batteries. 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. The plant is due to come online in 2012.

Electrolytes are complex formulations that are essential for the transport of electronic charge inside batteries. High-quality electrolytes are prerequisites for improving the battery performance.

BASF says it is already developing specific formulations for high-quality electrolytes based on organic carbonates for customers in the battery and automotive industries. The first products will be commercially available by the end of this year.

By entering into electrolytes activities we are taking yet another step to support our customers’ competitiveness in the electromobility business. We will offer top-quality products and processes. We are perfectly positioned to do so thanks to our many years of experience in cooperating with the automotive industry. We also contribute our globally unmatched Research Verbund, which we are continually expanding through research cooperation projects. In the electrolytes business we intend to become a system supplier that is capable of offering tailor-made solutions to our customers.

—Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF



Now the major players are entering, this is the next wave. Their motto will be "we don't make the batteries, we make them better". This is a good sign for electric vehicles and I welcome it.

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