Specialty chemicals company Evonik has invested in battery specialist SuperC. The Chinese company is a provider of graphene materials that improve the range, robustness, charging speed, and service life of lithium-ion batteries.
"By investing in SuperC, we are supporting a cutting-edge technology with a promising future. High-performance batteries are a crucial factor in accelerating the electrification of road transport and permanently reducing CO2 emissions". Said Bernhard Mohr, the head of Evonik’s venture capital unit.
The investment is made by the Sustainability Tech Fund launched in 2022, which has a total investment volume of €150 million. The focus of the fund is on new technologies to reduce emissions as well as innovations that complement Evonik’s Next Generation Solutions.
SuperC has developed an innovative process to produce few-layer graphene (FLG) and, in turn, pastes for electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. The addition of graphene increases the electrical and thermal conductivity of the batteries for faster charging and better overall performance. The batteries become also more temperature insensitive. This saves on cooling requirements and reduces the risk of fire.
Evonik is committed to innovative and sustainable e-mobility solutions. One focus is on improving battery technology—the company’s products are used in various components of the batteries, making them more powerful, safer, and more environmentally friendly. Evonik has also its own global lithium-ion research center in Shanghai.
"China’s battery industry has logged rapid growth in recent years. With the investment, we create synergies in innovations for battery materials and thus support our local business development". Said Fuliang Xia, President of Evonik Greater China.
According to experts, global demand for lithium-ion batteries will increase fivefold by 2030.
Hefei Haizhou New Material Co., Ltd., also known as SuperC, was founded in 2011 in Dongguan, China. It is considered a pioneer in graphene-based electrode material for lithium-ion batteries. The company’s materials are already used in products from leading Chinese battery manufacturers. SuperC plans to open a new production facility in Hefei, a key location for the automotive industry, in 2023.
Evonik is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €15 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.38 billion in 2021. With a fund size of €400 million, Evonik Venture Capital (EVC) has made 50 investments since 2012, both direct and fund investments.
Source: Green Car Congress