IBU-Tec launches cathode material for sodium-ion batteries

IBU-Tec Advanced Materials has launched a cathode material for sodium-ion batteries. The German company, based in Weimar, claims to be the first manufacturer in Europe to produce and commercially sell sodium manganese oxide (NMO) in large quantities.

Image: IBU-Tec

IBU-Tec Advanced Materials has so far made a name for itself primarily with its LFP battery material. In spring 2023 and November 2022, the company announced orders for the development and production of LFP cathode material for electric vehicles. Now the Weimar-based company is following up with a new product called IBUvolt NMO, where NMO stands for sodium manganese oxide.

The new NMO product “forms the basis for novel sodium-ion batteries that do not require lithium or other rare raw materials,” IBU-Tec says. The material is primarily designed for use in smaller electric vehicles, e.g. for inner-city traffic, as well as in stationary energy storage systems.

IBU-tec states that it has already been advancing the development and optimisation of NMO from laboratory to industrial scale since 2021. According to the company, it developed a two-stage process that can be applied to plants for LFP cathode material and should enable significantly more energy-efficient production compared to previously known manufacturing methods.

NMO consists predominantly of materials that occur frequently in the environment. Sodium is the sixth most common element on earth and can be extracted from sea salt or salt domes, among other things. Manganese is the third most common metal after iron and titanium. Sodium-ion batteries could thus be produced much more cheaply and in a more environmentally friendly way than lithium-ion batteries. The new battery type is also considered very safe. Disadvantages include a lower energy density and higher weight compared to lithium-ion batteries.

“IBU-tec is already the technology leader in Europe for LFP cathode material. With the sodium-ion battery, the next generation of innovative batteries is already in the starting blocks – and IBU-tec is once again one of the pioneers and innovation drivers here,” says Jörg Leinenbach, CEO of IBU-tec. “This will enable us to position ourselves even more broadly in the battery sector and position ourselves in another growth market.”

As reported, IBU-Tec Advanced Materials AG founded IBUvolt Battery Materials GmbH in mid-March to reflect the increasing importance of the battery materials business.



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