Electromobility perspectives trigger BASF to create battery business unit

November 29, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
BASF combines all its battery-related electromobility activities in the new business unit "Battery Materials". With the move, the chemical giant intends to participate in the significant growth opportunity associated with the global battery marketplace.

The new business unit will integrate the existing battery activities of BASF's Catalysts division, which is focused on cathode materials development; its Intermediates division, which is focused on electrolyte formulations, and BASF Future Business GmbH, which is dedicated to next-generation lithium battery opportunities. This operating consolidation will take place throughout the first half of 2012, leveraging the collaborative efforts of each of these business teams to ensure a seamless migration for BASF and its market constituents. The move will enable the company to take a more solutions-oriented approach to serving battery manufacturers, said BASF Research Executive Director Andreas Kreimeyer.

Over the next five years, BASF will invest a three-digit million euro sum in researching, developing and the production of battery materials. As well as developing materials for lithium-ion batteries, which include solutions for anodes and separators, the company is also researching future battery concepts such as lithium-sulfur or lithium-air. With its research activities BASF is substantially contributing to making electric cars affordable, environment-friendly and sustainable. A greater driving range with less weight and lower costs are also goals for BASF Battery Materials.

Another aim is to reduce the time to market for new solutions to energy storage. A major step on this road is the construction of a manufacturing plant for battery materials in Elyria, Ohio/USA. Along with battery materials, plastics and composites for lightweight automotive design and solutions for improved heat management, such as IR-reflective pigments for coatings and vehicle interior uses, have major roles to play.

The new Battery Materials unit will be part of the Catalysts division which resides in Iselin, New Jersey. BASF veteran Ralf Meixner has been assigned the task of managing the new unit. The unit is scheduled to become operative during the first half of 2012.