BASF builds its “Battery Materials” unit

by | Feb 28, 2012

BASF builds its Battery Materials capabilities with the purchase of Merck's electrolytes business.
Lithium ion battery

BASF and Merck logosBASF will acquire the electrolytes business for high-performance batteries from German Chemical and Pharmaceutical Company Merck. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

The acquisition comprises the technologies and products for enhancing battery performance that Merck has developed, patented and brought to market. These include the complete line of finished electrolyte formulations which are marketed under the Selectilyte brand. Also included is a variety of additives for electrolytes used to produce lithium ion batteries (LIBs). The transaction also covers Merck’s research portfolio with respect to novel electrolytes and additives. In this way BASF is strengthening its LIB electrolytes business by adding innovative solutions for its customers.

“This acquisition enhances the expertise we offer to automotive and battery manufacturers around the world. We emphasize again our goal of positioning BASF as a solution-oriented partner to battery manufacturers in this dynamic market,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and BASF’s Research Executive Director, and added, “The electrolyte portfolio developed by Merck and their established market channels will provide additional impetus to our efforts to develop into a reliable supplier of electrolyte formulations offering innovative and customized solutions for battery manufacturers.”

Lithium ion battery

A BASF technician assembles a lithium-ion battery. Image: BASF

“Our successful electrolytes business has excellent prospects for the future within BASF. We are pleased to say that the customers and development partners of Merck will have a reliable and very innovative new supplier in BASF – a supplier who will continue to promote the future topic of electromobility powerfully,” said Dr. Klaus Bofinger, who leads Merck’s unit Advanced Technologies, which included the divested business.

Electrolytes are complex formulations that ensure the transport of electric charge inside the battery. High-quality electrolytes can provide essential prerequisites for raising battery performance.

In May 2011 BASF announced the formation of a global electrolytes team to develop and sell high-quality electrolyte formulations for battery manufacturers. This team, initially formed in the Intermediates division of BASF, will be integrated into the new “Battery Materials” business unit within BASF’s Catalysts division in the course of 2012.

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