In a bid to gain a more competitive edge in the rapidly growing global CNT market focused on electric vehicle battery materials, the largest Korean chemical company, LG Chem has revealed today that it’s going to build the fourth LG Chem Carbon Nanotube Plant.
According to the firm, the initiative is part of the company’s expansion of its investment in carbon nanotubes (CNT) with the construction of the world’s largest single-line CNT manufacturing plant.
LG Chem’s New Carbon Nanotube Plant
The new carbon nanotube facility will be the company’s fourth CNT plant, following Plant 3, which started construction early this year, and Plant 2, which has been operational since last year.
The plant will be built in LG Chem’s Daesan Complex, located 80 kilometers southwest of Seoul, with construction commencing in the first half of next year, 2023, and operation beginning in the second half of the following year, 2024.
According to the Korean chemical company, the new plant is expected to produce 3,200 tons of CNT annually, contributing to the LG Chem carbon nanotube plant’s total production capacity is of 6,100 tons across all four plants.
CNT Global Market Survey
CNT is 100 times stronger than steel and has the same electrical and thermal conductivity as copper and diamond, which has become a material of the future. CNT has endless uses in batteries, semiconductor wafer trays, automotive components, and surface heating elements because of its superior qualities that surpass those of existing materials.
The demand for CNT is anticipated to increase from 5,000 tons in 2021 to 70,000 tons by 2030, in part to the global market for CNT conductive additives, which is anticipated to expand by 30% to USD 2.3 billion.
The 3,200 tons of CNT produced at Plant 4 will contribute to the LG Chem carbon nanotube plant’s total production capacity, which is 6,100 tons across four plants. Since LG Chem CNT Plant 1 began producing 500 tons of CNTs in 2017, LG Chem has been operating CNT plants, and since 2020, it has been constructing more plants each year to keep up with the demand.
LG Chem CNT Products
With intentions to spread utilization to a wider range of industries, LG Chem’s CNTs will be provided to battery manufacturers like LG Energy Solution, the current market leader in the world for EV batteries, as conductive additives.
Battery manufacturers can use 30 percent fewer conductive additives since CNT exhibits 10 percent greater conductivity than carbon black when used as a conductive addition. Cathodes can then be placed there for a bigger capacity and longer lifespan without growing the battery’s overall size. As a result, CNTs are also being evaluated as appealing, futuristic conductive additives for anodes and next-generation batteries, including solid-state and lithium-sulfur batteries.
Since beginning its research and development initiative to create exclusive CNT-related technologies in 2011, LG Chem has been expanding carbon nanotube production to fulfill the rising demand for CNT. The firm began creating battery components and devices using conductive compounds in 2014, and it presently holds close to 300 patents on CNTs.
Speaking about the new LG Chem Carbon Nanotube Plant, Noh Kug-lae, the head of LG Chem’s Petrochemical Business, said the firm is steadfastly devoted to becoming a reliable and top-tier CNT supplier for international automakers.
“LG Chem is continuously increasing its sales from newly secured battery customers, including LG Energy Solutions and is strongly committed to becoming a trustworthy world-class CNT supplier for global automakers,” said Noh Kug-lae, “We hope to cement our leadership in the conductive additive market based on our competitive edge in self-developed manufacturing capabilities and excellent product quality and moving faster than our competitors.”