Anticipating growing demand in electrification

Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries power the lives of millions of people each day. From laptops and mobiles to smart devices this technology is growing in popularity due to its lightweight, high energy density and ability to recharge. More recently, electric cars are accelerating in demand urging viable alternatives in sustainable mobility while securing top-performing and cost-efficient solutions.

Fully or hybrid, the electric vehicles (EV) segment records 30% annual growth globally and the electrification is expected to hit 80% of Li-Ion battery market by 2022 with a total rise up to 26% by 2025.  Equally, today’s EV game-changers will also need high volume stationary batteries and charging point facilities efficiently serving the drivers of sustainable cities with the most competitive, safer solutions at the lowest cost. As the world has never needed so many batteries, Solvay and its R&D global presence are in the driving seat, developing next-generation materials for the battery industry. 

 

Battery Solvay Advanced Materials
electric vehicule growth

 

Powering the way to performance  

Global presence to anticipate customers' needs

Looking at customers' demand we have been developing technology and implementing capillarity worldwide. Our recognized expertise in fluorine chemistry, our robust portfolio of fluorinated products, and our global multidisciplinary fully dedicated team, make us leaders in new solutions for next-generation batteries. 

"Our ambition is to provide our customers with new and efficient materials to solve challenges in the field of batteries. At the heart of the prestigious EWHA Woman's University, Solvay's R&I Center in Seoul is able to build unique partnerships with customers and key market players," says Larry Hough, Heading of Battery Lab at Solvay R&I Center in Seoul (South Korea).

 

 

Combined technologies to provide unique solutions

One of the main axes of Solvay’s Research & Innovation in energy storage focuses on breakthrough materials and technologies with innovative properties. By exploring the possibilities offered by the Group’s wide-ranging expertise in raw materials, polymers, soft matter and formulations, Solvay powers new solutions:

  1. With better performances
  2. Using fewer resources
  3. More eco-efficient
  4. Safer and lighter

Our differentiated portfolio consents to achieve functionalities tailored to customers’ needs for both thermo-mechanical resistance and performance. Solvay’s LIFSI combines lithium and fluorinated compounds for the greatest extent of results in higher voltage and more secure chemical stability.  Equally, Solvay’s fluorinated polymer SOLEF® PVDF is used to manufacture battery components (binders and separators). The fluorine in the compound makes it fire-resistant improving battery safety dramatically if compared with other polymers. 

Testing a LI-ION battery

Top-notch materials for Advanced Li-Ion and Solid-State batteries

The power of partnership 

The battery industry is positioned at the crossroads of a large number of competencies. That is why Solvay is convinced that partnership projects are crucial to combine expertise from different actors across the value chain. Solvay is involved with various partners in globally funded projects which validate the utilization of its innovative materials in real-world applications as well as collaborations with top-level academic research organizations and startups all over the world.

 

Solid incubator for next-generation batteries 

Our venture capital fund, Solvay Ventures, recently invested in startups working on innovative battery solutions. For instance, the founding of NOHMs Technologies, Inc. to enable integrated custom electrolyte solutions for automotive and mobile devices to trigger innovation with the highest degree of safety versus high temperature exposure. 

Equally, we recently sponsored a second company. Solid Power’s technology based on a metallic lithium anode and simplified cell architecture. By removing volatile and flammable liquid electrolytes, the company is developing an inherently safer battery which delivers greater than twice the energy density compared to best available rechargeable batteries.

 

Building a strong European ecosystem 

Solvay is teaming up with SAFT Alliance to create a European champion in electrification. By joining forces with SAFTUmicoreManz and Siemens and other actors in the battery sector we are working on an ambitious research, development and industrialization program for new generation batteries based on advanced high-density Li-Ion and solid-state technology.

Latest in line, we joined the European Battery Alliance — the EU Commission project launched in October 2017, aimed at facing production challenges and enabling the competitive clean transition with an estimated value of  €250 billion from 2025 onwards. Our proven expertise will support the Alliance’s EBA250 development program spanning 250 industrial and innovative collaborators, from mining to recycling, it will reinforce the common objective to build a strong and competitive battery industry in the heart of Europe. 

However, supporting the European Commission Projects and committing to sustainable development is not new at Solvay. We are encouraging the LIFE+ programs and we joined the Horizon 2020 initiative proving our environmental efforts to constantly achieve a reduction in the footprint of our own activities and those of our customers.