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Chemical makers Evonik Industries and BASF are participating with other German companies in a German-government-backed initiative to develop lithium-ion batteries and battery components. Germany's Federal Ministry for Education & Research is providing $85 million in funding over three years. The other participants are Volkswagen, industrial conglomerate Bosch, and Li-Tec, a maker of lithium battery components in which Evonik recently acquired a 20% interest. Evonik expects that the market for lithium-ion battery raw materials, such as its Separion separation membranes, will increase from its current $2 billion annually to more than $5 billion by 2015.
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