The German speciality chemicals group Lanxess is entering the battery chemistry sector and has entered into a cooperation agreement with Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co, a manufacturer of lithium-ion battery materials. This involves the supply of electrolytes in Europe.
Starting next year, Lanxess will produce electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries in Leverkusen on behalf of the Chinese company in order to be able to supply battery cell manufacturers in Europe locally. The production itself will not take place at Lanxess, but at facilities of the subsidiary Saltigo in Leverkusen.
According to Lanxess, Tinci is one of the leading manufacturers of conducting salts and electrolytes and operates three production sites for electrolyte formulations in China. Three more plants are currently under construction. However, partner Lanxess is to produce the electrolytes for supply to battery cell manufacturers in Europe.
Lanxess does not disclose the agreed quantities and financial scope of the cooperation in the statement.
“The upswing in E-Mobility is accelerating. Numerous new plants for battery cell production are currently being built in Europe,” said Lanxess board member Anno Borkowsky. “This fast-growing market also offers great opportunities for Lanxess, especially in the field of battery chemistry. We already produce many raw materials for battery manufacturing. The cooperation with Tinci is another step in establishing ourselves in this market.”
Lanxess products used in batteries or the manufacturing processes include hydrofluoric acid and phosphorus chemicals. Both materials are important for the production of the high-purity conducting salt lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6). In the USA, the group says it is working on the commercial extraction of battery-grade lithium. At the site in Arkansas, the lithium is to be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from brine used in bromine extraction.
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