Innovation Centre to showcase advanced battery materials

12 July 2021 | Muriel Cozier

‘With this new resource, we will be equipped to optimise our lithium materials for a drop-in solution for customers…’

US-based Albemarle Corporation has opened up its Battery Materials Innovation Centre (BMIC), located in North Carolina, US. The company has said that the facility will support its lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate and advanced energy storage materials growth platforms.

The BMIC has been equipped so that new materials can be produced, analysed, characterised as well as scaled-up and integrated into battery cells. In addition, the new facility will be used to develop lithium metal anode technologies that will increase battery energy density by using advanced lithium metal rolling to produce lithium foils that are 20 microns thin. There are plans to demonstrate lithium foils 3 to 5 microns thin, using technologies which are currently under development. Albemarle says that currently it is the only US-based producer of lithium metal anodes.

Dr Glen Merfeld, Albemarle Lithium Chief Technology Officer commented: ‘The completion of the Battery Materials Innovation Centre provides us with realistic and relevant cell building capabilities to generate meaningful data for next-gen battery material design. With this new resource, we will be equipped to optimise our lithium materials for a drop-in solution for customers that help them deliver high-performing cost-effective batteries for the rapidly growing electric vehicle market.’

Albemarle has stressed the importance of battery material innovation, when at a US Department of Energy round table event during June 2021, the company said that ‘Innovations that leapfrog current technologies and encourage step changes in disruptive cathode and next generation anode manufacturing will make the future of high-capacity lithium-ion batteries possible.’

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