BASF invests $50 million to acquire equity ownership position in Li-Sulfur battery company Sion Power
|Configuration of a Li-S cell. Click to enlarge.|
BASF has invested $50 million to acquire an equity ownership position in privately held Sion Power, the leading developer of rechargeable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. Sion Power’s Li-S technology provides rechargeable cells with a specific energy of more than 350 Wh/kg—50% greater than the currently commercially available rechargeable battery technologies. More than 600 Wh/kg in specific energy and 600 Wh/l in energy density are achievable in the near future, according to the company.
This equity partnership expands upon an existing joint development agreement that BASF Future Business GmbH established with Sion Power in 2009 to accelerate the commercialization of Sion’s proprietary Li-S battery technology for electric and plug-in electric vehicles and other high-energy applications over the next decade. (Earlier post.)
Dr. Dennis R. Mangino, CEO of Sion Power, said that the progress of the technical collaboration led BASF to take the significant financial stake in Sion.
We are delighted to strengthen our ties with Sion Power, which will allow us to leverage the expertise of both companies to deliver leading-edge lithium-sulfur technologies to the battery materials market in the years ahead.—Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF SE
The agreement with Sion Power provides a long-term complement to BASF’s current activities in the areas of electrolyte formulations and lithium-ion cathode materials development, including its start-up of an advanced cathode materials manufacturing plant in Elyria, Ohio, later this year. These initiatives are being managed under BASF’s new global business unit “Battery Materials,” which was launched on January 1, 2012, to integrate the company’s current and future battery materials-related activities within a single operating unit managed by its Catalysts division, based in Iselin, New Jersey.
BASF had previously announced its intention to invest a three-digit million euro sum in researching, developing and producing advanced battery materials through 2016. The company is also exploring next-generation battery materials concepts, including the lithium-sulfur technologies now in early stage development with Sion Power.