Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No. 595: Mass production of palm shell-based negative electrodes for lithium-ion battery (August 22, 2012)

Business trend:
A lithium-ion battery is composes of our major components: electrolyte, insulation, positive electrode, and negative electrode. Graphite is widespread as the material of negative electrode because it is inexpensive. Hitachi Chemical and Mitsubishi Chemical are the two leading manufacturers of graphite-based negative electrodes. To compete with them, Kuraray and Kureha will jointly build a plant to produce negative electrodes made of hard carbon instead of graphite with an investment of about 3 billion yen. Hard carbon is created by carbonizing palm shells. Because it has a more complicated structure than graphite, it does not deteriorate fast even though the battery is repeatedly charged and discharged. Construction work will start coming October, and the plant will be ready for operation in autumn next year.

Kuraray’s subsidiary Kuraray Chemical and Kureha’s subsidiary Kureha Battery Material Japan will establish a joint company exclusively for the production of plant-derived hard carbon negative electrodes. The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) will also invest up to 10 billion yen in this joint company. The number of lithium-ion battery e-vehicles built in 2011 was 1.2 million units, and it will supposedly increase to 12 million units in 2020 with the growing popularity of hybrid cars and e-vehicles. Accordingly, demand for negative electrodes is estimated to increase from the present 5,700 tons in 2011 to 76,000 tons in 2020. Although graphite is dominant in the market, the joint company wishes to increase the share of hard carbon from the present 5% to 20-30% in 2020 through reducing production cost. Related web page

Hard carbon for the negative electrode of
lithium-ion battery from Kureha Battery Material Japan 

No comments:

Post a Comment