Japanese technology group Asahi Kasei is responding to the booming global demand on the battery market with an investment of the equivalent of 238 million euros to expand its production of lithium-ion battery separators.
Asahi Kasei will increase its production volume by 450 million to 1.55 billion square meters per year by mid-2021. Expansions up to three billion square meters per year are planned for 2025. The Group offers both wet and dry process separators.
In detail, the production of Hipore LIB separators (wet process) will be expanded by 300 million square meters per year and that of Celgard LIB separators (dry process) by 150 million square meters per year. This means that the total annual production of one billion square meters is attributable to the wet process and 550 million square meters to the dry process.
Separator films are thin, microporous polyolefin films located between the cathode and anode of lithium-ion batteries. They prevent contact between the electrodes, which would cause a short circuit, while lithium ions can move freely between the electrodes.
Celgard is an Asahi Kasei Group company specialized in these membranes, used in electric vehicles, energy storage systems and emergency backup power systems, as well as portable consumer electronic devices. The global tech company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The growth in demand is not only due to the rising demand for electric vehicles but also by the increased use of energy storage systems (ESS), due to an inexorable adoption rate of renewable power sources.