Largest Lithium Iron Phosphate Plant Set for Canada

· · 9 years ago

Germany's Sud-Chemie AG has announced that it will infuse its Canadian Phostech Lithium subsidiary with $78 million in cash to build a new plant in Quebec. The funding will help make the company the world's largest producer of lithium iron phosphate, which is one of several varieties of lithium that can be used as a cathode material in lithium ion batteries.

The most popular variety for autos is lithium manganese dioxide—which is the type of cathode used in the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF batteries—but lithium iron has its supporters, who say that the material could help to extend battery life. Currently, Aptera and CODA employ the material, which is also used in the concept QUICC! EV. A123 Systems was one of the original developers of the technology, and has a proprietary license on its lithium iron nanophosphate design, which it will supply to Fisker Automotive and others in the future.

LiFePO4 is known for its quick charging capacity, but has yet to be used in any production vehicle. The new Phostech Lithium facility will demand at least 50 experienced technicians and the plant plans to produce more than 2,500 metric tons (2,755 tons) per year, enough to power 50,000 electric vehicles or half a million hybrids.

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