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US Department of Energy selects Cabot to develop low-cobalt cathodes

Cabot will receive US$2.9 million of DOE funding

Cabot Corp., a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in an US$80-million investment in advanced vehicle technologies research.

Cabot will leverage its novel process technology to contribute to the research and development of low-cobalt active cathode formulations for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

Cobalt is an expensive, foreign sourced critical material that could pose a supply risk in the future. Research projects such as Cabot’s are designed to explore more sustainable, affordable options, and ultimately improve access to electric vehicle technology.

“We are honoured to be selected to participate in this important initiative,” said Cabot chief technology officer Patricia Hubbard. “We are excited to leverage our battery materials manufacturing expertise to expand our existing presence in the batteries and energy materials market. This project will help drive sustainability, innovation and new technologies, which are all crucial elements of our long-term strategy and vision.”

The DOE is investing in a total of 42 projects to support advanced vehicle technologies that can enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, and enhance US economic growth.

Of the US$80 million, nearly US$32 million has been allocated for battery and electrification initiatives, including US$2.9 million for Cabot’s research in aerosol manufacturing technology for low-cobalt Li-ion battery cathodes.

“Cabot already has an established presence in batteries through our conductive additive formulations and aluminas for cathodes and separators,” explained Cabot Energy Materials technology director Miodrag Oljaca. “We are eager to leverage our novel process technologies and battery materials expertise to drive further innovation for next generation batteries, with the goal of enabling low-cobalt or no-cobalt cathode formulations. This work will also help enable the production of low-cost, sustainable batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage and other applications.”

Cabot will partner with researchers at Argonne National Lab and SAFT for this project. Argonne will assist in the synthesis of low-cobalt cathode compositions, while SAFT will assist in the manufacture of batteries to validate performance of novel low-cobalt cathode formulations.

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