Enhancement of Anode Materials for the Lithium-ion Battery Business
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group strengthens production capacity of low-swelling natural graphite anode materials in China and starts discussing production in the West

May 30, 2022

Updated on May 30, 2022

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group (MCHG) has decided to enhance the production capacity of natural graphite anode materials, which are newly developed products for lithium-ion batteries featuring low swelling, from 2,000 tons/year to 12,000 tons/year at its Chinese subsidiary Qingdao Anode Kasei Co., Ltd. (Qingdao City, Shangdong Province, China) and affiliated company Qingdao Lingda Kasei Co., Ltd. (Qingdao City, Shangdong Province, China). MCHG has also begun to consider the production and sale of anode materials in European countries and the United States.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries for automobile applications, mainly for electric vehicles (EVs), is surging due to the global increase in environmental consciousness. The market for the batteries for automobile applications is expected to grow about 30% annually on average. Along with this trend, demand is increasing for high-quality and eco-friendly anode materials, a key component of the batteries, available for automotive applications.
 
  • Enhancement of production capacity in China
Anode materials are made from artificial or natural graphite. MCHG offers advantages in its natural graphite anode products that emit less GHGs during the production process and have an excellent life cycle assessment. Additionally, using its originally developed technology (patented), MCHG has newly developed and provided a higher-grade product that prevents batteries from swelling and adversely affecting battery life, and surpasses artificial graphite-based materials in performance. MCHG has recently enhanced the production capacity of its production line for the product at Qingdao Anode Kasei and Qingdao Lingda Kasei. The production line is scheduled to start operation in the first half of fiscal 2023.
 
  • Commencement of manufacturing studies in collaboration with overseas companies that own mines
Meanwhile, the movement to locally manufacture batteries for automobile applications in North America and Europe is becoming active with auto makers and battery cell makers implementing supply chain strategies. To meet the demand, MCHG has begun to consider securing the procurement of natural graphite-based materials, as well as production and sales in the United States and European countries through collaboration with international companies that own Natural Graphite operations and resources. As the first step of the initiative, MCHG signed two memorandums of understanding this May toward a commercial arrangement with Syrah Resources Ltd. (Syrah; Victoria, Australia), the world’s largest integrated producer of flake graphite with production in Mozambique and integrated active anode material production in USA, and Mineral Commodities Ltd. (MRC; Western Australia, Australia), which owns an operating graphite mine in Norway and a graphite project in Australia. MCHG will perform further technical assessments to identify whether MCHG’s Anode material production technology is optimized with the source graphite materials, and will then negotiate the details toward future collaboration.
  
Additionally, MCHG will contribute toward the realization of carbon neutrality by enhancing the manufacturing system on a global scale and offering products with an excellent life cycle assessment to meet the brisk demand for anode materials for lithium-ion batteries.

             
                 Anode materials                                             Qingdao Anode Kasei Co., Ltd.

Overview of Qingdao Anode Kasei Co., Ltd.
Office Location: Pingdu, Qingdao City, Shangdong Province, China
Establishment: 2010   
Shareholder: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (100%)
Business Description: Production and sales of anode materials for lithium-ion batteries
 
Overview of Qingdao Lingda Kasei Co., Ltd.
Office Location: Pingdu, Qingdao City, Shangdong Province, China
Establishment: 2010
Shareholders: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (49%), Qingdao Gr-Taida Carbon Co.,Ltd in China (37%) and Meiwa Corporation (14%)
Business Description: Production and sales of spherical graphite for anode materials
 
Overview of Syrah Resources Ltd.
Office Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Establishment: 2007
Business Description: Mining, processing and sales of natural graphite
http://www.syrahresources.com.au
 
Overview of Mineral Commodities Ltd.
Office Location: Belmont, Western Australia, Australia
Establishment: 2003
Business Description: Developer and operator of industrial and critical minerals resources, including mineral sands and natural graphite.
https://www.mineralcommodities.com/