SC Holdings Co., Ltd., the Japan-based parent company of the specialty chemicals manufacturer Toyo Ink Group, has announced the official opening of a new wholly-owned manufacturing subsidiary, Toyo Ink Hungary LLC, in Ujhartyan in Pest County, Hungary. The new entity produces and markets Lioaccum carbon nanotube (CNT) conductive dispersions for lithium-ion battery cathodes specifically developed for electric vehicles (EVs).
The high-performance dispersions produced at the Ujhartyan site will be supplied to SK On, a leading South Korea-based supplier of high-energy-density EV batteries for global automakers such as the Volkswagen Group.
The 7-billion-HUF (Hungarian forint) (US$17-million) investment to set up Toyo Ink Hungary is part of a long-term business plan of the Toyo Ink Group, in which approximately 10 billion JPY (US$68 million) will be invested up to 2026 to strengthen its global CNT dispersions production network and to ensure a reliable global supply.
Mass production at the Ujhartyan Factory, which employs 30 people, started in July 2022. Additional construction for increasing production capacity by six times present levels is currently underway and is planned to be completed by the end of 2023. The production facility is operating in a 5,964 m2 building on 44,806 m2 of land.
The incorporation of CNTs as a conductive additive in Li-ion batteries can increase capacity but there have been several issues associated with CNT dispersion that have hindered its practical use. To resolve this issue, leveraging its unique dispersion technology, Toyo Ink Group researchers in Japan successfully achieved high conductivity levels by replacing carbon black in the battery cathode with a small amount of Lioaccum CNT dispersions as the conductive additive.
Reduced material usage not only gives battery manufacturers the additional cell space to insert active materials needed to boost battery capacity and performance, but it also considerably reduces manufacturing cost.