Albemarle and 6K to co-develop Lithium Battery Materials for Additive Manufacturing and other manufacturing processes

When two material producers join forces, the result can only be positive for the industry they target. In this case, Albermarle, an expert in advanced lithium materials, and 6K, a producer of advanced materials developed with a patented microwave-controlled plasma technology, sign a joint development agreement (JDA) to explore the development of lithium battery materials.

Interestingly, these materials could be processed on several manufacturing processes, not just AM. Speaking of 6K’s patented UniMelt® advanced, sustainable materials production platform, Dr. Glen Merfeld, Chief Technical Officer for Albemarle Lithium explains that it “creates the opportunity for modular manufacturing allowing for a smaller footprint, faster construction, and new models for localization. The collaboration sets a strong foundation not only for advanced material development but also for future commercialization.”

Apart from the various industries it targets, this collaboration would have a significant impact on the fight against climate change. For instance, if a conventional 16-GWh battery cathode production plant was converted to 6K’s UniMelt platform, it would reduce CO2 emissions by 70% (equal to 10M trees per year); lower water consumption by 90% (6.3M barrels per year) and reduce wastewater production by 100% (7M barrels per year) while requiring a 50% smaller factory footprint, 6K explains in a press release.

We are pleased to partner with a world leader in lithium technology and production”, commented Dr. Aaron Bent, 6K’s CEO. “The agreement with Albemarle highlights the commitment of both organizations to drive battery material performance enhancements while introducing more sustainable production methods. We are thrilled to welcome Albemarle to our investor group and our engineers are eager to work alongside Albemarle’s team.”

Lastly, apart from the JDA, Albemarle has also made an undisclosed investment in 6K through Volta Energy Technologies. An existing financial investor in 6K, Volta is a venture capital firm launched in 2017 that also connects strategic investors like Albemarle with well-researched investment opportunities in the energy storage sector.

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