6K, Inc., North Andover, Massachusetts, United States, a world’s leading developer of microwave plasma technology, has announced the creation of a Center of Excellence for its 6K Energy division focused on the development of sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles (EVs), grid storage and consumer goods. The company will invest $25 million over the next two years to triple the size of its facility in North Andover, with as many as ten UniMelt® systems dedicated to the full-scale development and pilot production of battery materials. 6K Energy will expand the size of its product development team, enhance world-class material testing capabilities and help the US to lower supply chain risks with clean energy production of critical battery materials.
Former Congressman Joe Kennedy III and 6K Board member said, “The new administration’s executive order clearly outlines a commitment for the United States to lead clean energy technology especially in the area of batteries for electric vehicles. The new order also calls for a review of supply chains and ensuring the domestic supply of four key areas, one of them being battery production. The new Center of Excellence will not only allow 6K to address the administration’s concerns, but it enables 6K’s key partners and players in the battery production space to take advantage of a scalable, green process based in the US to fulfill the US supply chain requirements.”
The new 33,000 sq/ft state-of-the-art facility will accommodate ten UniMelt systems that can produce as much as 100 tons of material from each system annually. This will support full scale development of materials such as high energy density and single crystal cathode, solid-state electrolyte materials, Silicon Anode for fast-charging and many more. The expansion will create 6K Energy pilot production capabilities to fully support partner qualification, providing a gateway direct to domestic production. The Center of Excellence will also allow 6K Energy to offer dedicated UniMelt systems to customers, enabling the rapid commercialization of battery materials, which could have major implications for the cycle life and safety of future NMC-based EV products, making smaller, lower cost batteries a reality, without giving up vehicle range.
6K CEO Dr. Aaron Bent added, “Production of advanced materials for batteries is virtually non-existent in the United States. The investment we are making in infrastructure and team will accelerate our time-to-market to deliver lower cost, next generation battery materials produced on US soil. The UniMelt platform’s sustainability benefits, and the scale of the new Center of Excellence, means that 6K Energy can deliver the advanced materials the market requires for next generation batteries and the administration’s mandate for improvements in the supply chain for battery materials.”
6K’s UniMelt platform offers multifaceted sustainability benefits like no other battery material production platform in the world. As an example, if a legacy battery cathode production plant was replaced with 6K’s UniMelt platform, 100% of wastewater would be eliminated, energy usage and greenhouse gas generation would be reduced by up to 70%, and water usage would be decreased by 90%.
6K represents 6000 degrees, setting 6K technology apart from all others. It is the temperature of operation of UniMelt® (5778K to be exact), the world’s only microwave production scale plasma, and is also the temperature of the surface of the sun.
6K uses proprietary advanced plasma processing and industrial systems to create materials that are enabling the next-generation of commercial and consumer products. The company’s continuous UniMelt process allows for complete and unprecedented control of the entire materials engineering process, to produce materials at exact specifications.
The 6K Additive division is a ISO9001 facility, reclaims and processes over a million pounds of Ti-64 per year, and has recently built and commissioned a state-of-the-art 40,000 square foot production facility for additive manufacturing powders.