BASF has announced that it will invest $25 million to renovate and expand its R&D facility in Beachwood, Ohio. In addition to the existing catalyst and battery materials research, the facility is being renovated to make space for a new cathode materials research team. Construction is underway and completion is expected in early 2014.
The Beachwood battery materials research team was established in 2009 to focus on advanced materials for lithium-ion batteries in advance of the 2012 opening of a new materials production facility in nearby Elyria.
“Our investment in Beachwood will allow us to focus on developing new battery materials that can provide higher energy density, greater power, increased safety and lower cost,” said BASF VP Andreas Fischer. “These are the key areas in which the chemical industry can play a significant role in determining the future performance of batteries for electromobility, helping drive higher adoption rates for hybrid and full electric vehicles.”
BASF is focused on developing a full suite of cathode and electrolyte solutions for lithium-ion batteries and future battery systems. On the cathode side, BASF is licensed to produce battery materials by both Argonne National Laboratories – the leader in Nickel Cobalt Manganese technology – and LiFePO4+C Licensing, the leader in Lithium Iron Phosphate technology. BASF is also developing and producing a portfolio of application-specific electrolyte formulations – the company acquired Novolyte Technologies in 2012.
BASF is also researching future battery concepts such as lithium-sulfur and lithium-air. The company is working with Sion Power to develop lithium-sulfur technology with a goal of tripling the energy stored in the battery per weight.