The Secondary Battery Show in Japan: Review Part 2 - Parts and Materials

2011/05/13

Summary

This Report introduces remarkable new products and technology for parts and materials concerning a Li-ion battery to be used in green vehicles (hybrid vehicle, plug-in hybrid vehicle, electric vehicle, and fuel-cell vehicle) by 19 companies at the 2nd Battery Japan 2011 (held at Tokyo Big Site from March 2 to 4, 2011).

Field Company Product/Technology
Positive-electrode
material
Mitsubishi Chemical Positive-electrode material/ negative-electrode material/separator/ electrolyte for Li-ion battery
BASF Japan (Germany) Positive-electrode material for Li-ion battery
Umicore Japan (Belgium) Positive-electrode material for Li-ion battery
Formosa Energy & Material
Technology (Taiwan)
Positive-electrode material for lithium-ion iron phosphate battery
Changs Ascending
Enterprise (Taiwan)
Positive-electrode material for Li-ion battery
Phoenix Silicon
International Corp.
(Taiwan)
Positive-electrode material for Li-ion battery
Hunan Reshine New
Material (China)
Positive-electrode material for Li-ion battery
Negative-electrode
material
Hiramatsu Sangyo/
Shinshu University
Graphite web (The company receives many inquiries from LG Chem, BYD, and other Chinese companies)
TIMCAL Graphite &
Carbon (Switzerland)
Carbon negative-electrode material
Separator Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. Separator for Li-ion battery
Celgard (USA)/Hohsen Separator for Li-ion battery
Electrolyte Ohara * Lithium-ion conductive glass ceramics (solid electrolyte)
* All-solid state battery
* Lithium air battery
Kanto Denka Kogyo Lithium hexafluorophosphate (electrolyte)
Nihon Pall Electrolyte filter
Binder Zeon Corporation Battery binder
Solvay Solexis (Italy)/
Solvay Solexis (Japan)
Fluorine polymer (binder material)
Electrode foil Nippon Graphite Industries * Graphite powder for positive/negative-electrode of lithium-ion battery
* Graphite coating aluminum foil
* Porous foil for lithium capacitor
Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder * Electrode copper foil "CF-LBX"
* High purity smooth nickel foil
Furukawa Electric/
Furukawa-Sky Aluminum/
Nippon Foil Mfg.
Copper foil for negative-electrode current collector (electrolysis, rolling) [World's largest share of 40%]

(Note) Click the following photos to enlarge.



Positive-electrode material

Mitsubishi Chemical

 Mitsubishi Chemical, a diversified chemicals manufacturer, is the only company in the world that supplies all four core components of a Li-ion battery - positive-electrode material, negative-electrode material, separator, and electrolyte (The separator is manufactured by Mitsubishi Plastics). Mitsubishi Chemical's roadmap for the development of the four components is shown below.


Mitsubishi Chemical's roadmap
for the development of materials.


BASF Japan

 BASF Japan, which is a Germany-based global diversified chemicals manufacturer, BASF's subsidiary in Japan, exhibited positive-electrode material (Product name: NCM-111, NCM-424, and NCM-523) for Li-ion batteries. NCM is an abbreviation of Nickel, Cobalt, and Manganese and is a composite positive-electrode material that combines metal oxide, which contains a large amount of lithium and manganese. Argonne National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has already obtained this patent and is licensing it to BASF, GM, and Toda Kogyo.

 Sales of automobile-related products account for about 10% of BASF's overall sales, but those account for as much as nearly 20% in Japan. The company says that it sticks to its policy to put emphasis on the market in Japan.


BASF's automotive Li-ion battery materials
(Data from BASF's brochure)

Umicore Japan

 Umicore Japan is a Japanese affiliate of Belgium-based functional material manufacturer, Umicore. The company exhibited LiCoO2 (Lithium cobalt oxide), Li(NMC)O2 (nickel/manganese/cobalt ternary materials), and Li(NCA)O2(nickel/cobalt/aluminum ternary materials) as positive-electrode materials for Li-ion batteries. It is currently constructing a Li-ion battery material production plant and a technical center in Kobe, Japan, aiming to start operations in April 2011 (The total investment is worth 4 billion JPY. Of the investment, 600 million JPY is subsidized under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Incentives and subsidy for enterprises generating low carbon for creating employment").

Formosa Energy & Material Technology

 Formosa Energy & Material Technology was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Taiwan-based chemical manufacturer, Formosa Plastic Group's (Taiwanese plastic group) Formosa Biomedical Technology and Changs Ascending Enterprise, an iron phosphate positive-electrode material manufacturer. The company exhibited positive-electrode material for lithium-ion iron phosphate batteries. It supplies the product to China-based battery manufacturer, BYD. It obtains the patent for lithium iron phosphate positive-electrode material in the US in order to attract attention to its technology. Mitsui Electronics is the dealer in Japan.


Formosa Energy & Material Technology's
patent and production plan
(Data from Formosa Energy &
Material Technology's brochure)

Changs Ascending Enterprise

 Changs Ascending Enterprise, which was established in Taiwan in 1997, started R&D and production of cobalt, nickel, and nickel/cobalt positive-electrode materials for Li-ion batteries. In 2001, the company independently developed automated production facilities and became Taiwan's first manufacturer that mass-produces positive-electrode materials for rechargeable Li-ion batteries. In 2005, it succeeded in volume-production of positive-electrode material made of lithium iron phosphate composite oxide (LiFexMyPOz). In 2009, the company obtained a patent for positive-electrode material made of "iron phosphate composite oxide" (USPTO 7494744) in the US. Changs Ascending Enterprise's positive-electrode material made of "iron phosphate composite oxide" has a different structure from positive-electrode material made of lithium iron phosphate and is mainly characterized by olivine lithium iron phosphate, which has a defective structure that is stable in the air. Since it can be sintered in the air, it can be manufactured in lower temperature and does not need pure iron, but needs iron oxide as a raw material, which enables the company to reduce production costs compared to other companies. Sanyo Setsubi is the dealer in Japan. This time, the companies jointly exhibited positive-electrode material for Li-ion batteries.

Phoenix Silicon International Corp.

 Phoenix Silicon International Corp. is a Taiwan-based reclaim wafer manufacturer, seeking to expand into the Li-ion battery business. This time, the company exhibited positive-electrode material for lithium-ion iron phosphate batteries and battery modules for EVs (voltage: 12V, capacity: 60Ah/720Wh).



Display of a sample of lithium-ion
iron phosphate battery for EVs

Specifications of the lithium-ion iron phosphate battery
(Data from Phoenix Silicon International's brochure)

Hunan Reshine New Material

 Hunan Reshine New Material is a China-based positive-electrode material manufacturer for Li-ion batteries. The company produces various positive-electrode materials including LCO (Lithium cobalt oxide), LMO(lithium Manganese), and NCM(nickel/cobalt/manganese ternary materials). Kazutaka Ikeda, founder and vice president of the company (assumed the post in 2008) received rewards of 1 million RMB from the Changsha government in June 2009, when Hunan Reshine New Material became the largest exporter in the Hunan Province, China. Nagase & Co., Ltd., its dealer in Japan, exhibited positive-electrode materials for Li-ion batteries this time.

 



Negative-electrode material

Hiramatsu Sangyo/ Shinshu University (Japan)

 Hiramatsu Sangyo is a synthetic textile dyeing processing manufacturer in Ishikawa, Japan. In order to diversify its business, the company jointly developed with Prof. Okino from the Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University (Japan) carbon fiber web anode (negative-electrode) material (a prototype is currently being developed: Shinshu University is currently evaluating it). This development was adopted under NEDO's FY2009 new-energy venture technological innovation new-business and was granted a subsidy. The company is currently applying for a patent. The conventional anode material uses natural graphite or synthetic graphite, but Hiramatsu Sangyo's carbon fiber web anode material uses only carbon material. Since the product is a web, the high surface area enables the quick charge of the battery and the anode has no collective electrode and no binder. Currently, the company is receiving inquiries from Korea-based LG Chem and Chinese companies such as BYD.



Characteristics of carbon fiber web anode
(negative-electrode) material
(Data from Hiramatsu Sangyo's brochure)


Presentation of silicon evaporation carbon fiber
web anode (negative-electrode) material
(Data from Hiramatsu Sangyo's brochure)

TIMCAL Graphite & Carbon

 TIMCAL is a chemical manufacturer founded in Switzerland in 1908. The company is currently expanding its synthetic graphite and natural graphite negative-electrode business for Li-ion batteries. This time, it exhibited graphite (Product name: TIMREX®), carbon black (Product name: ENSACO™, SUPER P™ Li), and conductive additive materials

 



Separator

Mitsubishi Plastics

 Mitsubishi Plastics jointly exhibited with Mitsubishi Chemical a separator(3-layer, single layer) for Li-ion batteries. In 2003, the company started the development of a separator for Li-ion secondary batteries. In 2006, it began joint development with Mitsubishi Chemical. Mitsubishi Plastics set up mass-production facilities for separators at its Nagahama plant (Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, Japan), starting production in the summer of 2009. Mitsubishi Chemical sells the product.

Celgard / Hohsen

 US-based Celgard, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Polypore International, is a microporous membrane manufacturer including separators for Li-ion batteries. In Japan, its Japanese affiliate, Polypore K.K., sells Celgard® separator. This time, Celgard exhibited the product jointly with Hohsen, a secondary battery/component service company.



Electrolyte

Ohara

 Ohara, a major manufacturer of a separator for Li-ion battery, exhibited a next-generation battery, all-solid-state battery, and lithium-ion conductive glass ceramics (solid electrolyte), which is equivalent to all-solid-state battery's electrolyte. The company succeeded in developing these products in March 2010. It will conduct the development in order to improve battery capacity, output, cycle life from 2010 to 2011, aiming to commercialize the product as battery components in 2012.

 In addition, this sintered body of the Li-ion conductive glass ceramics is high in chemical durability and passes lithium-ion, but does not pass other ions and water; therefore, it can be used as electrolyte for lithium air batteries. The company made a prototype of a lithium air battery.


Characteristics of component of a prototype
all-solid-state battery and
roadmap for commercialization

Composition and characteristics of
lithium-ion conductive glass ceramics

Property of lithium air battery as application
of lithium-ion conductive glass ceramics


Display of a sample of lithium-ion
conductive glass ceramics

Kanto Denka Kogyo

 In 1970, Kanto Denka Kogyo established hydrofluoric acid electrolysis technologies for the first time in Japan. With its more than 40-year experience and achievements, the company has obtained the world's top-class fluorine gas production capability. The company produces its fluorine products through direct reaction of fluorine gas and raw material each at independent plants, which is the characteristic of the company's manufacturing method. It supplies lithium hexafluorophosphate (electrolyte), fluoroethylene carbonate (additive), etc. as materials for Li-ion secondary batteries, of which market is expected to be expanding.


Characteristics of lithium hexafluorophosphate electrolyte

Property of new additive that is currently being developed

Nihon Pall

 Electrolyte filter eliminates foreign substances and solid electrolytic base from electrolyte. Nihon Pall is a Japanese subsidiary of Pall Corporation - US-based filter manufacturer - exhibited filters for the entire liquid in the manufacturing process of Li-ion battery cells and components (a filter for stirrer and coater in the cell production process, a filter for electrolyte, and a filter for the separator production process).


Manufacturing process of Li-ion battery and the role of filter




Binder

Zeon Corporation

 Zeon Corporation exhibited a binder (waterborne and solvent) for positive-electrode/battery and a binder (waterborne) for negative-electrode/battery. The binder is adhesive to hold active materials that can store electricity within the multi-electrode. The company's binder requires less binder than a conventional binder that uses PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride) and has characteristics of more-flexible rubber binder, resulting in thinner batteries. The company is also pressing ahead with the commercialization of binders for iron material and manganese material, which have recently been attracting attention as positive-electrode materials for large Li-ion batteries.


Zeon Corporation's lineup of battery materials


Solvay Solexis / Solvay Solexis (Japan)

 Solvay Solexis is an Italy-based fluorine chemical manufacturer and exhibited semicrystalline fluorine polymer (Product name: Solef® and Hylar® PVDF), which is a material for a binder for Li-ion batteries.

 (Note) PVDF means Polyvinylidene Fluoride.


Characteristics of binder for Li-ion batteries




Electrode foil

Nippon Graphite Industries

 Nippon Graphite Industries, which is also a negative-electrode material manufacturer, exhibited graphite coating aluminum foil (the company conducts integrated in-house production from coating material to coating) as electrode foil of the current collector for positive-electrode material as well as graphite powder for positive-/negative-electrode of Li-ion batteries and porous foil for lithium capacitors.


The properties of the porous foil current
collector for secondary batteries


Display of a sample of a current collector for an electrode

Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder

 Fukuda Metal Foil & Powder is a metal foil and powder manufacturer that has succeeded in the production of electrolytic copper foil for printed-wiring board for the first time in Japan. This time, the company exhibited electrolytic copper foil for negative-electrode current collector "CF-LBX" and high purity smooth nickel foil. In addition, it also exhibited super-high tensile strength electrolytic copper foil for negative-electrode current collectors for a next-generation Li-ion battery, which is currently being developed, and a hydrogen separation membrane for fuel cells.


Property of super-high tensile strength electrolytic
copper foil for negative-electrode current collector
(exhibition for reference)

Characteristics of hydrogen separation membrane
for fuel cells (exhibition for reference

Furukawa Electric/Furukawa-Sky Aluminum/Nippon Foil Mfg.

 Furukawa Electric group has the largest share (about 40%) of copper foil for negative-electrode current collector (electrolysis, rolling) in the world. Furukawa Electric exhibited "NC-WS", its main product electrolytic copper foil for negative-electrode current collector, being characterized by electrolytic copper foil with a smooth layer on both sides, which has electrolytic copper foil's excellent crystal structure and rolled copper foil's flex resistance.

 Nippon Foil Mfg., which worked together on the exhibition, is a major manufacturer of aluminum foil for positive-electrode current collector, supplying Toyota and Honda with almost the entire aluminum foil. In addition, the company manufactures rolled copper foil for negative-electrode current collectors. Furukawa-Sky Aluminum is a rolled aluminum manufacturer that was established in 2003 through the consolidation of the aluminum business of Furukawa Electric and Sky Aluminum.


Characteristics of electrolysis copper foil for
negative-electrode current collector, "NC-WS"


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