Global materials technology company Umicore and Japanese petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan have agreed to jointly develop high-performance catholyte materials for solid-state batteries, combining their respective expertise in cathode active materials and solid electrolytes.
Umicore has been working on solid-state CAM (cathode active material) chemistries since 2017 and holds multiple key patents. Idemitsu Kosan has an established method for manufacturing high-purity lithium sulfide, which it developed via its petrochemical business, and holds many patents for sulfide solid electrolytes that use lithium sulfide as their raw material.
“Umicore laid its foundations in battery materials almost 30 years ago. Thanks to our own research and strong global open innovation footprint, we are at the forefront of various lithium-ion battery technologies that help decarbonize transport. Our partnership with Idemitsu enhances our innovation and technology leadership to support our customers in their clean mobility transformation through solid-state battery power,” explained Mathias Miedreich, the CEO of Umicore.
Catholytes combine cathode active materials and solid electrolytes. Achieving greater contact between these two components would enable solid-state batteries to achieve better performance. “Based on more than 20 years of experience, Idemitsu has developed the technology of sulfide solid electrolytes and holds many patents related to sulfide solid electrolytes,” added Hajime Nakamoto, managing executive officer of Idemitsu. “Solid electrolytes will contribute as a key material for the ‘electrified society’, through ASSB [all-solid-state batteries]. The joint development between Umicore and Idemitsu will play an important role in the acceleration of activities in this field.”