Isu Chemical Company has decided to start a battery materials business starting with solid-state electrolyte for solid-state batteries that are seen as a next-generation battery.
Solid-state battery is a battery that replaces conventional electrolytes that are placed between the anode and the cathode with solid-state electrolytes. Because it is able to provide larger capacity compared to lithium-ion batteries and is highly safe, it is also called as a “dream battery”.
This will be the first time that Isu Chemical Company is pushing for a battery materials business. It is likely that that the company has decided to focus on the field of solid-state battery in order to grab an upper hand in future markets and to differentiate itself from other companies.
According to the industry on Thursday, the company has begun working on commercializing solid-state electrolytes specifically sulfide solid electrolytes. It is looking to invest in production facilities for solid-state electrolytes at its Ulsan plant between 2022 and 2023.
It is heard that sulfide solid electrolyte has a high ion conductivity. Ion conductivity is a factor that determines battery performance and lower conductivity leads to lower capacity and lifespan. Because it is easier for ions to conduct electricity in sulfide solid electrolytes, such electrolytes are seen as a material suitable to manufacture large batteries with high capacity.
However, when sulfide solid electrolyte is exposed to air, it reacts with water and can cause hydrogen sulfide gas. Reduced battery performance due to degradation of sulfide solid electrolyte and difficulty in production of solid-state batteries with sulfide solid electrolyte are also seen as few obstacles towards commercialization of sulfide solid electrolyte.
Isu Chemical Company has decided to go forward with commercialization of sulfide solid electrolyte based on its experiences and techniques involving hydrogen sulfide. Until now, the company’s business has revolved around petrochemical products.
“We are the only South Korean company that produces high-value chemical products that use hydrogen sulfide such as TDM (Tertiary Dodecyl Mercaptan), NOM (Normal Octyl Mercaptan), and NDM (Normal Dodecyl Mercaptan) as the main ingredient.” said a representative for Isu Chemical Company. “Because we have had many experiences dealing with hydrogen sulfide, we are conducting studies in key ingredients of sulfide solid electrolyte with a goal of making commercial investments between 2022 and 2023.”
The company has set a plan of targeting the market for solid-state batteries that are expected to be commercialized sometime around 2025. Samsung SDI, LG Energy Solution, and SK Innovation have all set goals to commercialize solid-state batteries by 2025. Reportedly, Toyota is looking to use solid-state batteries for its new electric vehicle that will be released in 2023.
It is expected that Isu Chemical Company will work with Samsung SDI as Isu Chemical Company along with Samsung SDI are participating in a next-generation battery development project led by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Samsung SDI has been very active in development of solid-state batteries. Samsung SDI plans to verify performance of its solid-state batteries by testing them in IT devices in 2023 and commercialize rectangular solid-state batteries in medium and large sizes in 2025. Because Hyundai Motor Company is also participating in the project, commercialization of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles is also expected.
One official from Isu Chemical Company said that the company will contribute to pushing forward commercialization of solid-state batteries as the market continues to make a steady growth. Fuji Keizai Management estimated that the global market for solid-state batteries would be worth $25.3 billion (28 trillion KRW) in 2035.
Staff Reporter Kim, Jiwoong | email@example.com