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Now made in Japan – Asian battery manufacturers welcome highly conductive nanotube additive

Japan has became a pioneer in launching the first Asian production facility for ready-to-use single wall carbon nanotube solutions for Li-ion batteries. This is in keeping with the country’s reputation for technical innovation and its unrivalled commitment to quality, with many of the world’s leading lithium-ion battery players headquartered there.

In an exclusive deal with OCSiAl, the leader in single wall carbon nanotube synthesis and development of related technical solutions, Kusumoto Chemicals has launched a facility to produce TUBALL BATT – an advanced nanotube-based additive. At the moment, the production facility is operating in a commissioning and testing mode. By the end of the year, Kusumoto Chemicals plans to produce a volume of TUBALL BATT that, in terms of increased battery energy density, would be equivalent to a medium-size battery manufacturer's capacity, with further significant increases in production capacity in the following years.

TUBALL BATT is the first ready-to-use solution with TUBALL single wall carbon nanotubes for both anodes and cathodes. As little as 100 g of TUBALL nanotubes in the cathode is sufficient for an entire EV battery pack, replacing about 3–4 kg of carbon black. When added to a silicon anode, nanotubes solve the key problem of this material – poor cycle life. Dr Jian Lin, Vice President of R&D at Shenzhen BAK Power Battery (which ranks among the top 10 battery manufacturers worldwide) confirms the fact that it is currently the only solution able to reach targeted requirements for silicon anodes to be used for electric vehicles. “Single wall carbon nanotubes can improve the cycling performance to a very great, huge extent. I think that they have the biggest advantage for application in silicon anodes, compared with other additives,” he said.

Large-scale Japanese Li-ion battery manufacturers are eagerly awaiting the first nanotube-based products from this brand-new production facility. “The start of manufacturing is a big step towards establishing stable, high-quality and cost-effective supply of this high-performance additive to our key customers on the local market,” a Kusumoto Chemicals representative noted.