Korean battery materials firm LG Chem has announced it will invest around KRW 65 billion ($53 million) to expand carbon nanotube (CNT) manufacturing by 1,200 tons at its Yeosu plant.
The company is aiming to expand production by Q1 of next year as it targets the industry sector, which is expected to more than triple to reach 13,000 tons by 2024 mainly via the global EV market.
CNTs are considered a promising candidate as anode material for lithium-ion batteries because the one-dimensional tubular structure exhibits high electrical and thermal conductivities, and extremely large surface area.
Once the expansion is made, LG Chem will have a total production capacity of 1,700 tons by adding the existing 500 tons.
A LG Chem statement said: “CNT is a next-generation new material having the same electric and heat conductivity equivalent to copper and diamonds, and its intensity is 100 times of steel. Thanks to its properties that are superior to existing materials, its use is wide ranging including batteries.
LG Chem stated the measure was taken to not only target the global EV market, but also the CNT market that has been rapidly growing for use in lithium-ion batteries.
By using CNTs as anode conductive additives it is possible to realise high conductivity upwards of about 10% compared to existing carbon black and reduce the amount of conductive materials usage by about 30%, and that space can be filled with necessary anode materials to increase the capacity and life of lithium-ion batteries, say LG Chem.
In particular, as the world leader of EV batteries, LG Chem plans to further strengthen product competitiveness by actively using CNT lithium-ion batteries.