By Cameron Chai
In order to extend the use of its cathode materials, namely, nickel, manganese and cobalt in lithium ion batteries, Umicore and 3M have signed a second technology license contract.
As per the contract, Umicore has received license for material compositions of low cobalt NMC materials for production and commercialization to battery producers for consumer electronics and automotive applications.
The cathode of the battery comprises cobalt, nickel and manganese and provides an excellent blend of energy, power, low cost and thermal stability. NMC cathode materials can satisfy challenging customer needs that include high power EVs and portable, high energy consumer electronics. For applications involving large battery forms the high thermal stability of cathode compositions comprising NMC ensures enhanced battery safety hence providing less battery system costs.
According to the business line manager of Umicore’s Rechargeable Materials Department, Kurt Vandeputte, Umicore is delighted to have a successful partnership with 3M that will enable Umicore to enhance its broad product portfolio. The performance of the product will ensure sophisticated NMC cathode materials for lithium ion batteries and help establish its presence in the consumer electronics sector.
According to 3M Electronics Markets Materials Division Business Manager, NMC materials are highly beneficial for battery applications involving large formats, for instance, EVs. The minimal cobalt compositions in the patented technology of 3M ensures cost reduction and ensures less fluctuations of materials cost that normally happens for high cobalt cathode compositions. The partnership with Umicore will ensure that the market accepts the new technology and help satisfy the increasing demands of battery producers.