Lanxess and IBU-Tec are working on better iron oxides for LFP batteries

In a strategic collaboration, Lanxess, a specialty chemicals group based in Cologne, and IBU-Tec Advanced Materials, headquartered in Weimar and specializing in battery material production, are joining forces to advance the development of improved LFP (lithium iron phosphate) cathode material. The partnership aims to enhance the electrochemical properties of LFP batteries, focusing on aspects such as energy density, charging speed, and the number of charging cycles.

IBU-Tec Advanced Materials has already established itself as a key player in the LFP cathode materials market, securing orders for the development and production of LFP cathode material for electric vehicles in spring 2023 and November 2022. Lanxess, on the other hand, boasts nearly a century of development experience with iron oxide, operating what is described as “the world’s largest plant for the key raw material iron oxide” in Krefeld-Uerdingen. The company can supply iron oxide particles for LFP batteries in the required size, purity, morphology, and quantities.

The collaboration is deemed crucial as an increasing number of automakers are turning to LFP batteries for their electric vehicles, particularly in high-volume models. The partners anticipate a 20 percent annual growth in LFP demand in Europe until 2030, emphasizing that current demand is predominantly fulfilled by non-European suppliers. Both companies aim to contribute to establishing a value chain in the European LFP battery market while concurrently reducing the carbon footprint of batteries.

Jörg Leinenbach, CEO of IBU-Tec, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Lanxess, stating, “With the joint product development, we are pooling our know-how and together we will advance the development of the European LFP battery market and establish an independent value chain. We see the cooperation as an important step on the way to opening up the market.” Further material developments in the battery sector, with potential new applications, are expected to be disclosed by IBU-Tec in January.

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Michael Ertl, head of the Inorganic Pigments business unit at Lanxess, highlighted the significance of IBU-Tec as the only European manufacturer of LFP cathode materials. He stated, “We are making an important contribution to sustainability and to the development of a European value chain in the field of battery materials.” Additionally, Lanxess aims to expand its presence in the eMobility market by exploring opportunities in raw materials for electrolytes, battery coolants, flame retardants for plastic components in electric vehicles, and orange dyes for coloring high-voltage components.

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