Honeywel has signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy for a $27.3 million grant to produce a critical component of lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid and electric vehicles.
The grant is intended to help Honeywell become the first domestic supplier of high-purity lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6), a conductive salt that is one of four critical components in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more popular for use in a variety of applications because they are lighter and smaller than other batteries, hold their charge well, and can handle the numerous charge and discharge cycles required by modern electronics and vehicles.
“Honeywell is uniquely positioned to blend our technical know-how with our extensive manufacturing experience to become a premier supplier of this important battery material,” said Andreas Kramvis, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Specialty Materials. “We are proud of this chance to partner with the Department of Energy in this breakthrough work, and look forward to helping the U.S. become a leader in this important, growing segment of the battery industry.”
The grant was awarded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is designed to accelerate the market introduction and penetration of advanced electric drive vehicles, reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases.
LiPF6 facilitates the transport of lithium ions within the battery, which allows the batteries to store and discharge energy. Honeywell has developed a novel, environmentally-sound process to manufacture high-purity LiPF6. The process produces less waste and a more consistently pure product than alternate processes.
According to independent market research published by Avicenne, a leading market research firm, demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow more than 40 percent, from $7.2 billion in 2010 to $10.1 billion in 2015, driven by demand for plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.
Honeywell’s LiPF6 production process was developed at Honeywell’s research and development facility in Buffalo, N.Y. The facility has a proven record of developing and commercializing innovative molecules used today in a number of applications, including refrigerants, blowing agents, solvents and energy storage.
Honeywell Specialty Materials is a global leader in providing customers with high-performance specialty materials, including fluorine products; specialty films and additives; advanced fibers and composites; intermediates; specialty chemicals; electronic materials and chemicals; and technologies and materials for petroleum refining.
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.