By Cameron Chai
BASF, a chemical company, has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with LiFePO4+C Licensing, a subsidiary of Clariant, for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, BASF will acquire rights to produce and sell LFP battery material from the Switzerland-based company. LiFePO4+C represents Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris; Université de Montréal; and Hydro-Québec in Montreal, Canada, who are the patent owners of the LFP technology.
LFP, a cathode material, is used in the manufacture of advanced lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The material is more ideal for high-power applications, including grid storage batteries and hybrid vehicles. The acquisition of the LFP technology patent rights will support BASF’s current efforts in the production of Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) cathode materials for application in lithium-ion batteries.
The Senior Vice President of Battery Materials division, BASF, Ralf Meixner, stated that through the agreement, BASF has become the only company in the world to receive a license to manufacture and sell LIB materials. Thus, BASF will be able to meet the materials requirements for lithium-ion battery applications.
Through the intellectual property and unique production processes, BASF has the ability to economically produce LFP materials with a high level of product consistency and exceptional electrochemical properties. The company has planned to increase its LFP production capacity to complement its NCM operations. The NCM production operations are anticipated to begin commercial production in the 4Q 2012. These initiatives support BASF’s long-term goal to become a primary supplier of functional materials and systems to the global cell and battery manufacturers.