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ICL Expanding Specialty Product Offerings To Meet Growing Demand From Electric Vehicle Battery Market

Company collaborating with Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center to advance lithium iron phosphate battery technology

ICL a leading global specialty minerals company, announced it is now able to offer a complete range of mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) solutions from its YPH joint venture plant in China. As YPH controls the entire phosphate value chain, from the mine to the product, it is able to provide both flexibility and cost effectiveness, while also meeting unique customer specifications. ICL is committed to creating additional capacity to meet rapidly increasing customer demand for specialty MAP products, including for the production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries destined for electric vehicles and other energy storage.

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Over the past several years, Chinese producers have been leading in the LFP battery space, which currently accounts for approximately 23% of the global Li-ion battery market and is expected to grow at a 25% CAGR through 2030, per Cairn ERA. LFP-based batteries have benefitted from recent design enhancements, which have improved the energy density of the overall battery, resulting in greater range and created potential additional end-markets for these batteries.

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“It’s no surprise LFP is one of the fastest growing sectors of the battery industry, as this technology offers superior safety at a lower cost and with a longer life. LFP also reduces exposure to conflict metals, which aligns with our mission to transform from a company that extracts minerals to a company that uses its minerals to create sustainable solutions for humanity,” said Anantha Desikan, EVP and chief innovation and technology officer of ICL.

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ICL considers strong demand for EV and energy storage as a significant source of potential growth for its phosphate- and bromine-based specialty products, in both the short- and long-term. The company is currently exploring partnerships with customers who are focused on expanding the use of LFP, and other specialty technology, in Europe and the United States. By 2030, Cairn ERA forecasts global demand for LFP batteries will reach more than 1 million tons, for a market value of up to $5 billion, due to a shift toward the lower cost cathode materials used in more affordable EV automobile models. ICL expects to leverage both its knowledge of LFP and its global phosphate footprint to capitalize on this emerging trend and is also collaborating with the Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center (CEEC) of Columbia University, to improve battery safety and energy density and is exploring multiscale modeling across lithium iron phosphate, lithium metal and zinc-bromine batteries.

“We’re pleased to build on our previous research collaborations with ICL Group,” said Dan Steingart, co-director of CEEC and the Stanley-Thompson Associate Professor of Chemical Metallurgy at Columbia University. “This new project significantly expands our relationship and allows us to jointly explore strategies to address energy storage and conversion via next generation batteries, by leveraging ICL’s core strengths, including LFP technology.”

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