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Kureha, Kuraray, ITOCHU in Hard Carbon for Lithium-ion Secondary Batteries JV

Tokyo, Dec 15, 2011 (JCN) - Kureha Corporation and Kuraray have been developing a new hard carbon material "Biocarbotron", a raw material derived from plants, for LiB anodes.

A new agreement states that Kuraray will provide capital and human resources to Kureha Battery Materials Japan ("KBMJ"), a joint venture established by Kureha and ITOCHU Corporation to manufacturer and sell battery materials, and that KBMJ and Kuraray Chemical will set up a manufacturing joint venture to establish a mass production and supply system with annual production capacity of 1,000 tons by 2013.

Kureha commercialized Carbotron(R)P, a hard carbon material derived from petroleum pitch. Carbontron P has since been used mainly in applications that take advantage of its charge-discharge properties and durability, such as large LiBs for industrial and automotive use. With the advancement of LiB for hybrid cars and electric vehicles, the requirements from the automakers and battery manufacturers are becoming more and more diverse and the unique properties and quality of hard carbon has been recognized increasingly.

Kuraray is focusing on the development of new hard carbon materials, drawing on its expertise in carbon materials gained through related operations such as its activated carbon business. Kuraray intends to expand into the growing LiB materials market through this joint commercialization of the new hard carbon anode material.

ITOCHU has stepped up its initiatives in the field of secondary batteries and, as part of this initiatives, ITOCHU is actively investing in the LiB materials business. In the field of anode materials, ITOCHU has been making full use of its extensive management resources, worldwide network and comprehensive strength to accelerate the global expansion of Carbotron P.

With Kuraray's participation in its management, KBMJ will strengthen its new product development capability and stable supply system, in pursuit of better cost performance.

By Chris Lui Staff Writer

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 Recent  Kureha Corporation News  
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