Specialty chemicals firm Albemarle has signed a joint development agreement with materials management specialist 6K to use 6K’s patented UniMelt plasma technology to develop lithium battery materials. Albemarle has also made an undisclosed investment in 6K through venture capital firm Volta Energy Technologies.
UniMelt is a microwave-controlled plasma technology, and Albemarle says a 16 GWh cathode plant using UniMelt would decrease CO2 emissions by 70%, water consumption by 90% and wastewater production by 100%.
“6K technology creates the opportunity for modular manufacturing, allowing for a smaller footprint, faster construction and new models for localization. The collaboration sets a strong foundation not only for advanced material development, but also for future commercialization,” says CTO of Albemarle Lithium Dr. Glen Merfeld.