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LANXESS enters lithium-ion battery chemistry business

LANXESS enters lithium-ion battery chemistry business
Photo courtesy of LANXESS

German specialty chemical company LANXESS has entered the field of lithium-ion battery chemistry by cooperating with China’s Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co. (Tinci), a leading global manufacturer of lithium-ion battery materials. Starting already next year, LANXESS will produce electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries under the authorization of the Chinese company in Leverkusen, Germany.

Electrolyte production for Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co. will start in Leverkusen in 2022.

The electrolyte is responsible for transporting lithium ions in the battery cell and thus is a key component of lithium-ion batteries. The high-performance electrolyte formulations from Leverkusen will enable Tinci to become a domestic supplier for battery cell manufacturers in Europe.
For production, LANXESS will use a high-tech plant operated by its subsidiary Saltigo, a leading global custom manufacturer. In this plant, electrolytes can be formulated in line with highest quality requirements. Saltigo will bring its extensive chemical expertise to the partnership, while at the same time further expanding its experience in the field of electrolyte production.

“The upswing in E-Mobility is accelerating. Numerous new plants for battery cell production are currently being built in Europe. 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,” said Anno Borkowsky, member of the Board of Management at LANXESS.
Tinci is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of conductive salts and electrolytes operating three production sites for electrolyte formulations in China. Tinci has three additional production sites currently under construction.

Broad portfolio of solutions for battery technology

LANXESS already produces numerous chemicals and materials that are important in the production of battery cells. For example, the specialty chemicals company is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of hydrofluoric acid and phosphorous chemicals. Both are key raw materials for the production of the high-purity conductive salt lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6). In the U.S., the Group is also working on the commercial extraction of battery-grade lithium, an important feedstock for the production of cathode materials and conductive salts. The lithium is to be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from the brine used in bromine extraction at LANXESS’ site in El Dorado, Arkansas, U.S.A.

LANXESS sees major growth opportunities in the market for e-mobility. In 2020, LANXESS established a Group initiative for e-mobility and circular economy. “With this initiative, we are bundling significant future topics where we see strategic potential for LANXESS. Our goal is to develop sustainable, value-creating business models around new mobility and circular economy. The cooperation with Tinci is a promising project in this regard,” said Philipp Junge, head of the initiative at LANXESS.