Samyang enters the solid state battery business

Samyang enters the solid state battery business

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Samyang in South Korea has signed a ₩3bn ($2.2m, €2.06m) deal to supply lithium sulphate electrolytes for solid state batteries.

The deal with local electrolyte developer Solid Ionics is a full-scale entry into solid-state battery business says Ho-sung Kang, CEO of Samyang.

The deal secures a position in the solid-state battery industry by adding solid electrolytes and lithium sulfide (Li2S), key materials for solid-state batteries, to the Samyang business portfolio. This move also accelerates the commercialization of products under development by Solid Ionics which is preparing for mass production of solid electrolytes used in sulfide-based solid-state batteries. The company holds a patent for the production of lithium sulfide, the primary material, ensuring a stable supply of materials and competitive pricing.

This follows a previous investment of ₩2.9 billion in Solid Ionics by Samyang in 2020, bringing the total investment to ₩5.9 billion and will be key for Korean car makers as well as supplying materials for battery cells in other sectors.

Solid-state batteries, the next generation of secondary batteries, replace the liquid electrolyte between the cathode and anode with a solid electrolyte, significantly reducing the risk of explosions and fires while offering vastly superior energy density.

Based on the composition of the materials, solid-state batteries are divided into three types: sulfide-based, oxide-based, and polymer-based. Among these, the market’s interest is particularly focused on sulfide-based solid-state batteries, which offer the highest ionic conductivity and the ability to achieve superior energy density.

The key is that Solid Ionics has developed a semi-continuous production process where the input of materials and production occur simultaneously, enabling the production of large quantities of products with uniform quality at a faster rate compared to the typical batch production process, which requires producing the same amount in one go each time.

A production process capable of manufacturing both large particles for electrolyte membranes and smaller particles for cathode materials, with a monthly output of one ton, has also been established. Solid Ionics plans to complete a production plant in Ulsan by 2027, capable of producing 1,200 tons of sulfide-based solid electrolytes annually, as it gears up for the final commercialization tests with solid-state battery developers.

“Solid electrolytes are the most critical component in solid-state batteries, and numerous companies globally are racing to develop them,” said CEO Ho-sung Kang. He added, “This investment will serve as a stepping stone for Samyang’s full-scale entry into the solid-state battery materials business, with plans to expand our battery materials portfolio in the future.”

Samyang celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and is aiming to become a global specialty company focusing on health & wellness materials, advanced industrial materials such as semiconductors, and environmentally friendly materials. This includes acquiring management rights to semiconductor material company NC Chem and global specialty chemical company Verdant Specialty Solutions.

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