Dutch global specialty chemicals Nouryon has begun the first deliveries of AkuPure™, a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) polymer targeted specifically at lithium-ion batteries, a market that is growing quickly due to increased demand for electric vehicles. AkuPure meets the ultra-high-purity requirement (greater than 99.5%) for use in lithium-ion batteries, where it improves the electrode coating process, increasing efficiency by helping the battery to retain and deliver power more effectively.
“Customers in the battery market require ultrapure CMC – impurities can interfere with performance or production efficiency, said Geert-Jan Beijering, product director at Nouryon. According to Nouryon, AkuPure has several properties key to the battery production process, including the speed at which it dissolves and its low level of insolubles. “The possibility to frequently charge and discharge a battery without losing performance under various temperature conditions is what matters most to our customers in this segment,” he said.
“Our R&D team worked extremely hard to create a top-tier version of AkuPure, and this is the right time to bring this technology to market. Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to rise, and as battery manufacturers struggle to find CMC that meet the stringent demands of the industry, we are introducing a more advanced solution,” said Larry Ryan, executive vice president and president of Performance Formulations and the Americas at Nouryon.
The development further expands Nouryon’s end-market uses for CMC, a sustainable polymer derived from cellulose sources such as wood or cotton that is used as a thickener, binder and rheology modifier in markets ranging from mining to pharmaceuticals.
Nouryon recently announced plans to acquire the CMC business of J.M. Huber Corporation. “The transaction will significantly broaden Nouryon’s portfolio of CMC products, and underlines the company’s strategy of investing in attractive growth markets and its commitment to sustainable growth platforms,” Ryan said.