BASF signs licensing agreement to acquire Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) technology from LiFePO4+C

BASF, through its global Battery Materials business unit, today announced that it has signed a long-term licensing agreement to acquire global rights for the production and sale of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery materials technology from LiFePO4+C Licensing AG, Muttenz, Switzerland, an affiliate of Clariant AG. LiFePO4+C Licensing represents the patent owners for this technology: Hydro-Québec (Montréal); Université de Montréal; and, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, Paris).

LFP is an innovative cathode material used in the production of advanced lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). LFP cathode materials can be used in all types of LiBs and are best suited for high-power applications such as hybrid vehicles (HV) and grid storage batteries. The addition of LFP intellectual property rights to its battery materials portfolio provides a strong complement to BASF’s current activities in Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) cathode materials for LiBs.

"As a result of our agreement with LiFePO4+C, BASF becomes the only company worldwide that is licensed to produce and market LiB materials by both the Argonne National Laboratory – the global leader in NCM technology – and LiFePO4+C – which licenses a leading patent portfolio in LFP technology," said Ralf Meixner, Senior Vice President of BASF’s global Battery Materials business unit. "This provides us with an important competitive advantage and positions BASF to meet the full range of battery materials needs for LiB applications."

BASF, through its unique production processes and intellectual property, has the capability to cost-effectively produce LFP materials in pilot scale with excellent electrochemical properties and a high degree of product consistency. BASF plans to expand its LFP production capacity within the next years to complement its NCM manufacturing operations, which are expected to reach commercial production scale in the fourth quarter of 2012.

As a result of these initiatives, BASF is building up a broad coverage of battery materials technology to drive the future of electromobility, supporting its long-term objective of becoming the leading provider of functional materials and components to serve cell and battery manufacturers worldwide.

The LFP patent rights associated with BASF’s agreement with LiFePO4+C provide exclusive, worldwide protection for LFP technology, patents on the invention of basic LFP materials, carbon coating patents usable with LFP materials, and carbon coating process patents.

BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success.