Sasol Chemicals, a business unit of Sasol Ltd. (Johannesburg, South Africa), and LOTTE Chemical (Seoul, South Korea) have agreed to conduct a pre-feasibility study of a joint project to build, own and operate a plant to produce battery-grade electrolyte solvents, key components of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
The companies will assess the suitability of Sasol’s locations near Lake Charles in the United States and Marl in Germany for a facility that could produce a variety of battery-grade electrolyte solvents, using feedstock provided by Sasol and third parties and employing proprietary technologies of both LOTTE and third-party licensors.
“The increase in battery demand is driving the rapid growth of demand for the key materials that constitute a lithium-ion battery. LOTTE Chemical will lead the global battery materials market quantitatively and qualitatively by rapidly expanding our battery materials business,” said Young-Jun Lee, Head of the Battery Materials Business Group for LOTTE Chemical.
“This agreement is consistent with our strategy to answer the sustainability challenge through the solutions we provide our customers,” said Shelley Grahmann, Vice President of Strategy Development and Optimisation for Sasol Chemicals. “With an existing Sasol footprint and strong site infrastructure available in Marl, and the development of our Lake Charles site as a sustainability hub, we are eager to determine if either site would be ideally suited for a facility to provide key materials to the lithium-ion battery market.” The project will also consider options to minimize carbon footprint, such as the usage of renewable energy.
Electrolyte solvents enable lithium-ion batteries by allowing lithium ions to travel more easily between the battery’s anode and cathode. Lithium-ion batteries are likely to be the key power source for electric vehicles.