Evonik investing in fumed aluminum oxide production plant expansion in Japan for battery applications

Evonik – a leading global manufacturer of silica – is investing in a production plant expansion for fumed aluminum oxide at its site in Yokkaichi, Japan. The facility will be the company’s first alumina plant in Asia, focusing on the production of specialty solutions for lithium-ion battery technologies, used for electric vehicles.

Evonik’s AEROXIDE, an aluminum oxide for ultra-thin separator coatings for the next generation lithium-ion batteries, enables longer mileage for electrical vehicles. It also improves safe usage and fast charging of batteries.

AEROXIDE fumed alumina and fumed titania are produced by flame hydrolysis and consist of nanostructured aggregates with mean aggregate sizes of approximately 100 nm. The white powder provides a very narrow particle size distribution and exhibits high chemical purity.

As dry coating on the surface of cathode materials, AEROXIDE acts as a defined cathode electrolyte interface (CEI). It prevents undesired reactions and makes batteries last longer. This increases the service life of a Li-ion battery by around 50%, resulting in carbon dioxide savings of ~10 tons CO2 per kg AEROXIDE. If all EV cars used batteries with AEROXIDE by 2025, around 90,000 t of CO2 could be saved, according to the company.

Applications of AEROXIDE in Li-ion batteries includes:

  • Protective dry coating for cathode materials
  • High performance LIB separator coating
  • Nanostructured ceramic fillers inside separators
  • Additive for electrolyte immobilization (gel polymer type)

Evonik will spend a mid-double-digit million euro investment, starting the construction in summer 2023. The expansion is scheduled to become operational in 2025, creating additional jobs in the region. The investment is supported by funds from the Japanese government.

Evonik’s strategic transformation targets investments in green growth and to make sustainability a core innovation driver. By 2030, Evonik aims to invest more than €3 billion in Next Generation Solutions.

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