Kureha Corp. and Itochu Corp. are planning a joint venture to produce and sell lithium-ion anode materials in the US to supply battery maker EnerDel. Itochu is a key investor in Ener1, EnerDel’s parent.

The plant is expected to cost ¥3-4 billion yen (US$34.6-46.1 million) and have production capacity of around 1,000 tons per year.

Kureha is a products company with advanced materials, specialty chemicals and specialty plastics divisions. Kureha materials have been used in lithium-ion batteries since 1991.

Kureha KF Polymer is a PVDF (poly vinylidene fluoride) binder for both cathode and anode, used throughout the world. Kureha offers two types: powder (W) and dissolved in NMP (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone) (L). Kureha says that KF Polymer is characterized by its high purity, which provides less swelling of organic electrolytes and higher crystallization.

Kureha Carbotron P is Hard Carbon for use as an anode active material. Its bulk structure hardly changes after repeated charge/discharge cycles or at the state of full charge, according to the company. This characteristic helps prevent destruction of the anode and makes the lifetime of LIB longer and more stable.