South Korea’s Lotte Chemical said it had developed new technology in collaboration with US startup Soelect which helps improve the durability of materials used in electric vehicle battery cells.

Lotte, a petrochemical company wanting to expand in the global battery electric vehicle (BEV) supply chain, said the two companies had developed new coating materials claimed to help protect battery separators such as copper foil to improve stability of anodes and cathodes in cells.

The solid polymer electrolyte coating materials were said to improve durability of next generation BEV batteries by 30%.

Lotte said the newly developed materials also enhance anode stability by curbing lithium dendrites which form on the surface of lithium metal anodes during charge and discharge cycles, potentially causing short circuits leading to capacity loss.

The two companies have been working together since 2021 and plan to invest US$200m in a lithium metal anode factory by 2025. Lotte said it had already completed the patent application process for the technology in South Korea.

Chief technology officer Hwang Min Jae said in a statement: “We are targeting the global battery materials market to take the lead in related sectors by securing core battery technologies.”

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