Nouryon has begun the first deliveries of AkuPure™, a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) polymer targeted specifically for the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market. AkuPure is an ultra-high-purity CMC that improves the electrode coating process, making the battery more efficient by helping it to retain and deliver power more effectively.
The development further expands the company’s end market uses for CMC, a sustainable polymer derived from cellulose sources such as wood or cotton that is used as a thickener, binder and rheology modifier in markets ranging from mining to pharmaceuticals. Demand for lithium-ion batteries is on the rise due to increased consumer interest in electric vehicles.
“Customers in this market require ultrapure CMC – impurities can interfere with the performance of the battery or with production efficiency, says Geert-Jan Beijering, Product Director at Nouryon. AkuPure has a number of properties key to the battery production process, such as the speed at which it dissolves and its low level of insolubles. The possibility to frequently charge and discharge a battery without losing performance under various temperature conditions is what matters most to our customers in this segment,” he said.
Larry Ryan, Executive Vice President and President of Performance Formulations and the Americas at Nouryon, added: “Our R&D team worked extremely hard to create a top-tier version of AkuPure, and this is the right time to bring this technology to market. Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to rise, and as battery manufacturers struggle to find CMC that meet the stringent demands of the industry, we are introducing a more advanced solution.”
Nouryon recently announced plans to acquire the CMC business of J.M. Huber Corporation. The deal will significantly broaden its portfolio of CMC products, and underlines Nouryon’s strategy of investing in attractive growth markets and its commitment to sustainable growth platforms, Ryan said.