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Arkema to increase lithium-ion materials production as it opens battery-focused Centre of Excellence

Tue, 12/07/2021 - 10:06 -- Paul Crompton
scientist work in laboratory on Arkema Group lithium-ion electrode binder

Battery materials firm Arkema Group has announced it will increase production capacity of its lithium-ion electrode binder by 50% at its French site.

The announcement to increase production of its Kynar® PVDF fluoropolymer material comes as the French-headquartered firm aims for sales of at least €1 billion ($$1.1 billion) in batteries by 2030.

This new extension to production capacity should come on stream in the first quarter of 2023.

A spokesman for Arkema would not tell BEST the capacity of the plant as it was “confidential information”.

The polymers, which are used as separators coatings or as cathode binders in lithium-ion batteries are produced at its Pierre-Bénite site in Lyon where it has just inaugurated the Christian Collette Center of Excellence, which is dedicated to batteries.

Arkema supplies PVDF for binders and separator coatings, lithium salts to improve cell performance, smart adhesives for cell-to-cell bonding, and bio-based polyamide 11 to cool battery lines.

The Center of Excellence— named in honour of the Group's R&D vice president who passed away last April— dedicated to batteries for clean mobility is equipped with state-of-the-art design and analysis equipment, including a dry room and an electrode coating line. 

Alongside the centre, a pilot line dedicated to the pre-industrialisation of the next generations of electrolytes for batteries is already operational.

The teams will conduct research with the Group's academic partners (CNRS, CPE in Lyon, LEPMI in Grenoble and ENSCM in Montpellier), as well as with partners in the battery ecosystem, with which strategic agreements have been concluded (start-ups, manufacturers, gigafactories).

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