Issue Date: March 10, 2008
Asahi Expands Battery Separators
Japan's Asahi Kasei Chemicals is building a new plant for its HiPore lithium-ion battery separators in Hyuga, Japan. To open by early 2010, the new unit will cost about $60 million and will increase capacity to produce the film by 20 million sq meters per year. HiPore separators are semiporous polyolefin membranes that prevent electrons from passing directly from anode to cathode while at the same time allowing lithium ions to migrate between the electrodes. The company, which claims a 50% share of the market for lithium-ion battery separators, is also in the midst of a 50% expansion at its existing plant in Moriyama to 150 million sq meters. Separator film makers see a new market in large lithium-ion batteries for electric cars (C&EN, Feb. 18, page 22).
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