France: Clean Mobility Arkema Launches Center of Excellence to Accelerate Development of Compact Batteries
Arkema recently inaugurated the Christian Collette Center of Excellence dedicated to batteries for clean mobility at its Pierre-Bénite Research Center in France. To meet the rising demand for lithium-ion battery cell materials in Europe, Arkema has announced a 50 % expansion of its Kynar fluoropolymer production capacity at its Pierre-Bénite site.
Colombes, France – In a context of rapidly accelerating growth in electric mobility around the world, and also for stationary uses, renewable energy storage and electronics, improvements in battery performance, including greater energy density and shorter charging time, greater autonomy and lighter weight of vehicles, today represent key R&D areas to meet the challenge of energy transition.
Thanks to its recognized expertise and unique offering of innovative, durable and high-performance materials, Arkema is ideally positioned at the heart of the battery ecosystem to support its customers and partners in the clean mobility revolution. Arkema is thus one of the world's leading suppliers of high-value-added solutions: PVDF for binders and separator coatings, lithium salts to improve cell performance, smart adhesives for cell-to-cell bonding, and bio-based polyamide 11 to cool battery lines.
This Center of Excellence dedicated to batteries for clean mobility is equipped with state-of-the-art design and analysis equipment, including a dry room and an electrode coating line. It draws on the scientific and technical complementarity of the Pierre-Bénite Research Center’s researchers. This Center of Excellence, which will help accelerate the development of advanced materials and processes for future generations of more efficient, safer and more compact batteries, was partly financed by the Région-Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
Alongside this platform, a pilot line dedicated to the pre-industrialization of the next generations of electrolytes for the batteries of the future is already operational.
This new Center of Excellence, named the Christian Collette Center of Excellence for Batteries, in honor of the Group's R&D Vice President who passed away last April, is inaugurated in the presence of numerous customers, partners, and representatives of the State, the Region and the City.
The teams will conduct research with the Group's academic partners (CNRS, CPE in Lyon, LEPMI in Grenoble and ENSCM in Montpellier), as well as with partners in the battery ecosystem, with which strategic agreements have been concluded (start-ups, manufacturers, gigafactories).
To support the exponential growth in demand for lithium-ion battery cell materials in Europe, Arkema also announces a 50 % expansion of its Kynar fluoropolymer production capacity at its Pierre-Bénite site. These polymers are used as separators coatings or as cathode binders. New innovations and product ranges will also be offered, such as Kynar CTO, the new Kynar PVDF made from renewable sources. This new extension should come on stream in the first quarter of 2023.
This investment benefited from State support as part of the ‘France Relance’ plan.
These projects are perfectly aligned with the Group's strategy aimed at accelerating its growth by fully leveraging its unique positioning in high-stakes markets such as batteries, and at offering its customers and partners innovative high-performance and breakthrough materials to help build a sustainable world.