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BASF to Commercialize Argonne Lithium-Ion Battery Technology (posted 6/5/09)

June 5, 2009
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Contingent upon winning a DOE grant, BASF plans to build one of North America’s largest cathode material production facilities in Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and BASF have signed a worldwide licensing agreement to mass produce and market Argonne’s patented composite cathode materials to manufacturers of advanced lithium-ion batteries. BASF will conduct further lithium-ion battery material application development in its current Beachwood, Ohio, facility. Contingent upon winning a DOE grant under Recovery Act - Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000026), BASF plans to build one of North America’s largest cathode material production facilities in Elyria, Ohio.

The patented cathode materials licensed to BASF are part of a suite of lithium-ion battery inventions and patents developed at Argonne with funding from the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program. The further development and commercialization of the cathode materials will result in advanced batteries that are higher-performing, longer-lasting and safer when compared to the existing technology that has dominated the market for nearly two decades.

“BASF is excited to begin this partnership with Argonne National Laboratory as we look to advance the lithium-ion battery market in North America,” said Joseph Breunig, BASF Corp.’s president of Market and Business Development. “The aim of our application development team in Beachwood, Ohio, along with our funding proposal to DOE for a world-class facility in Elyria, Ohio, is to make lithium-ion battery use realistic, affordable and widely available. Partnerships like this are exactly the type of public-private investment commitment that will create a more sustainable environment, help move the economy forward, and create new jobs.”

“This licensing agreement has the potential to put the United States several steps closer to reaching President Obama’s goal of having one million Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on the road by 2015,” said Argonne Director Eric Isaacs. “The transfer of Argonne-developed battery technology to BASF provides a stellar example of why DOE invests taxpayer dollars into scientific research and development. When federally funded R&D is commercialized, it enhances our economic competitiveness, energy security and quality of life through innovations in science and technology.”

When completed, the proposed BASF facility in Elyria, Ohio, is expected to be the largest cathode material production facility in North America. The cathode material licensed from the DOE has been shown to be a material of choice among the largest North American and Asian cell manufacturers that are actively engaged in providing lithium-ion battery solutions to the automotive and other commercial marketplaces. The impact of such a facility is anticipated to be significant, as the facility’s construction and staffing will have a positive economic impact for Ohio and will attract further businesses to North America.

Visit www.basf.com/usa or www.anl.gov for more information.

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