OCSiAl – the world’s largest manufacturer of graphene nanotubes, a game-changing material that has potential applications across up to 50%of the global materials market – has been granted approval by Luxembourg authorities for a production plant, together with an associated R&D center, in Differdange, Luxembourg. The facility would further cement OCSiAl’s strategic advantage as the leading supplier of the supermaterial and enhance the geographic accessibility of graphene nanotubes to growing EV components markets in Europe.
In the state-of-the-art graphene nanotube R&D center, talented scientists and engineers will develop nanotube solutions for the transportation of the future.
A graphene nanotube is a unique form of carbon that can be imagined as a graphene sheet, with a thickness of one atom, rolled into a tube. One of the best electrical conductors on earth, graphene nanotubes are 100 times stronger than steel, but lighter than aluminum. When added to a material, nanotubes create a strong, conductive skeleton inside the material that results in a substantial improvement to the material’s targeted properties.
Applied in lithium-ion battery anodes, graphene nanotubes allow manufacturers to use fast-charging, energy-dense silicon, which has over nine times the energy density of traditionally-used graphite, in the mass production of lithium-ion battery cells. Previously, the use of silicon was limited by the problem of its expansion during charging and discharging, which led to battery degradation. OCSiAl’s nanotubes create long, flexible, conductive, strong bridges to keep silicon anode particles well connected to each other even during severe volume expansion and cracking. That leads to long-lasting, faster-charging high-performance batteries for electric vehicles.
Today, OCSiAl’s nanotubes are applied in serial production by a number of leading lithium-ion battery manufacturers. The new facility is expected to increase OCSiAl’s production capacity, which could supply nanotubes for up to 10 million lithium-ion battery-powered EVs per year. The total number of EVs sold around the world in 2021 was 6.5 million.
“Our state-of-the-art graphene nanotube facility in Luxembourg will be positioned near more than 20 gigafactories in Europe, many of which are already our partners. Its strategic location between Belgium, France, and Germany will allow us to reduce logistics costs and work closely with leading automakers, the largest chemical producers, and large tire
manufacturers across Europe,” said Konstantin Notman, Chief Executive Officer of OCSiAl Group. He added, “With the new facility, we’ll beable to supply these leading industries with advanced materials for the next generation of EV components.”
OCSiAl plans to invest $300 million in the development of the cutting-edge facility, which was designed to minimize the usage of energy and resources as well as to protect the population and the biodiversity in the surrounding environment from any negative impact.
Moreover, graphene nanotubes contribute to sustainable development by giving industries the ability to create next-generation products with previously unachievable properties and with less raw material required.
OCSiAl’s headquarters and one of the company’s three graphene nanotube development centers are already located in Luxembourg. The new facility will expand the company’s global footprint and is expected to increase its headcount by 300 across research and production. Over 1,500 industry players in more than 50 countries are developing technologies and products based on OCSiAl’s graphene nanotubes. In some products,
graphene nanotubes have become a key component. For instance, batteries with OCSiAl nanotubes are already in serial production by a number of leading lithium-ion battery makers. According to third-party analysis, the total addressable market for OCSiAl’s graphene nanotube products and technology is expected to surpass $400 billion by 2035.