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There is a huge crisis in the lithium battery industry, there is overcapacity

There is a huge crisis in the lithium battery industry, there is overcapacity, there will be reorganization, how should the layout of some lithium cathode materials be?

The basic situation of the lithium battery electrolyte industry

The lithium battery industry's basic situation

Lithium batteries have a rich history of application and development as an electrochemical energy storage device. Initially, different metal lithium was used as a negative electrode, but this posed safety concerns due to the formation of dendrites during charging. 18650 manufacture As a result, it was primarily used as a disposable battery. However, in the early 1990s, SONY revolutionized the industry by introducing graphite as a negative electrode, allowing for multiple charges and discharges. Since then, lithium-ion batteries have become commercially available and have proven to be the most efficient in terms of energy density, power density, durability, and safety among all chemical energy storage batteries. Today, they are widely used in electronic information products, power tools, transportation vehicles, and energy storage systems.

During the initial decade of lithium-ion battery advancement, this technology opened up numerous possibilities for downstream applications. Japanese companies like Sanyo, Panasonic, and SONY held a dominant position in the market due to their superior technology and well-developed global industry chain. As the consumer electronics industry experienced rapid growth between 2001 and 2010, there was an increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries from devices like mobile phones and MP3 players. However, during this time, the progress of technological innovation by Japanese companies slowed down, resulting in a transfer of technology to East Asian countries. This shift allowed South Korea and China to impact the production of Japanese lithium-ion batteries and other components along the industrial chain.

Lithium-ion batteries compared with other secondary batteries

An overview of the lithium battery electrolyte industry

The components of lithium-ion batteries include electrolyte, diaphragm, positive and negative electrode materials. Acting as a medium for lithium ion movement and charge transfer, the electrolyte is considered the "blood" of lithium batteries. It must possess exceptional ionic conductivity and minimal electronic conductivity to effectively transport lithium ions during charging and discharging. Typically, lithium battery electrolyte is made from high purity organic solvents, electrolyte lithium salts, and necessary additives in specific ratios under controlled conditions. This ensures that the battery can achieve high voltage and specific energy levels. The production of electrolyte presents challenges as it requires strict purification of raw materials and environmental control to maintain low levels of moisture and acid content in the salts, solvents, and additives.

An electrolyte's composition is shown in Figure

In the process of developing battery cycling, various side reactions can impact the stability of the research battery's circulation system. This system is crucial to maintaining a stable circular economy and directly affects the capacity retention rate during charging and discharging cycles. To ensure high-quality capacity retention in China's multiple charge and discharge cycles, we must improve the electrolyte by incorporating food additives. While relatively inexpensive, electrolyte has a significant influence on battery performance. Its role in conducting lithium ions between the positive and negative electrodes directly impacts a battery's technical characteristics, including high voltage capabilities, charging and discharging rates, cycle life, and safety. Key indicators of electrolyte quality include conductivity, decomposition voltage, usable temperature range, and safety considerations. High-conductivity electrolytes can efficiently transfer lithium ions for improved charging and discharging efficiency. Those with high decomposition voltage can increase energy density in production batteries by providing a higher voltage cathode material. A wide temperature range for electrolyte usage ensures optimal performance at both high and low temperatures. Safety is also a critical concern; therefore, utilizing non-flammable electrolytes is vital for ensuring reliable lithium-ion battery performance, especially in electric power vehicles where safety remains a top priority for societal stability.

The lithium battery electrolyte industry has gone through three stages: import dependency, domestic substitution, and internationalization. With the continuous development, the performance of lithium battery electrolyte produced by Chinese enterprises has gradually improved, which has been widely recognized by the industry, and the domestic speed has steadily increased, and it has slowly moved to the international market.

This figure shows the development history of the lithium battery electrolyte industry in China

Variations in electrolyte products are primarily evident in the composition of regulators and advancements in additives. Specifically, as safety, charge-discharge efficiency, cycle life, and high pressure improve, the complexity of formulation and types of additives will also escalate. These additives and formulations are tailored to meet the unique requirements of individual customers and are customized to complement other battery materials. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the battery material system is crucial. The research and development of new additives and their formulations is a trial-and-error process that requires significant investments in resources and carries a substantial risk. Preparing new additives not only demands a considerable amount of manpower and materials but also involves high costs for reagents, lengthy timelines, and purification challenges.

An overview of the lithium battery electrolyte additives industry

Lithium battery electrolyte additives have a diverse range of products and a relatively low mass ratio in the electrolyte. These additives possess high unit value and can enhance various safety measures within the electrolyte through targeted technology, such as improving electrical conductivity, flame retardant capabilities, overcharge protection, and rate performance. In consideration of the distinct developmental features of different battery types in China, as well as the ongoing pursuit of superior energy, power, cycle life, and safety among other working aspects, the significance of additives cannot be overstated. It can even be argued that the development and implementation of additives will become a crucial factor in determining the competitive edge of electrolyte companies.

Battery cycle life and safety can be improved by using electrolyte additives, which are low-cost and efficient, and small amounts of additives improve battery performance. The principle of action of additives allows for the classification of additives into solid electrolyte interface film (SEI film) formation additives, flame retardant additives, additives for high and low temperatures, additives for overcharging, and additives for controlling the electrolyte's water and HF content.

Electrolyte additives: types and functions

Electrolyte additives: types and functions

Currently, the commonly utilized additives for electrolytes, such as VC and FEC, are widely employed and have easily accessible preparation methods. However, it is crucial for these products to maintain high purity levels due to the potential impact of trace impurities on lithium battery performance. Furthermore, the production process of these additives carries inherent risks and requires strict adherence to safety and environmental standards. As a result, regulatory agencies closely monitor construction, production, and operation of projects involving hazardous chemicals. In light of the current limited production capacity imposed by national environmental protection measures, obtaining production qualifications and investing in environmentally friendly equipment present significant challenges for the industry, resulting in a limited domestic supply.

Characteristics of the industry

A high level of supplier management is required by electrolyte manufacturers

The electrolyte plays a crucial role in the functionality of lithium batteries. It must be tailored to the specific electrode materials chosen by the customer, ensuring that the battery meets their performance standards. Additionally, it must be adaptable to the constantly evolving technology of 3C products, such as new energy vehicles and smart devices. Due to this requirement for versatility and development, electrolyte manufacturers rely on their upstream suppliers' research and development capabilities.

Electrolyte enterprises rely heavily on additive ingredients.

In most cases, electrolytes are composed of an organic solvent, an electrolyte lithium salt, and functional additives that are required under certain conditions according to certain proportions, of which the organic solvent is the most important component. Propylene carbonate (PC), vinyl carbonate (EC), diethyl carbonate (Dec), dimethyl carbonate (dMC), methyl carbonate (EMC) and lithium salt are common organic solvents.

Currently, the focus remains primarily on lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6). While it is relatively easy to analyze and imitate the organic solvent and electrolyte lithium salt in the electrolyte, the same cannot be said for the additive composition which is often challenging to analyze. This makes the additive composition the crucial aspect for electrolyte enterprises as it holds the key to enhancing safety through flame retardant and overcharge protection additives, improving circulation with film forming additives, boosting power ratio with conductive additives, and optimizing performance in low temperatures with high and low temperature additives.

Large corporations such as Panasonic, SONY, Samsung SDI, and LG Chemical have advanced additive management technology for global lithium batteries. These companies purchase electrolyte and then use a unique processing and modification technique to better suit the needs of their own lithium battery manufacturing processes. The ideal additive should possess the following characteristics: it should have a small quantity requirement while greatly enhancing certain battery product performance; it should not compromise the performance of other systems or cause adverse reactions with other battery materials; it should be compatible with solvents; and it should be cost-effective, safe, and either non-toxic or have low toxicity levels.

Situation of the industrial chain

According to the following figure, the upstream industry is the production of basic chemical raw materials, and the downstream industry is the production of electrolytes.

Upstream industry development status

After years of development, China's basic chemical industry has established a relatively complete chemical industry system, closely related to the fine chemical industry and providing significant support for fine chemical companies. A wide range of basic chemical products, a large production capacity, and a considerable fluctuation in raw material prices as a result of supply-side reform and stricter environmental controls.

The downstream industry's development status

Among the three major uses of electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries, the electrolyte demand scenario mainly meets the needs of batteries, 3c electronic products, and energy storage batteries, and the growth of these three will lead to a rapid rise in electrolyte demand and a rapid expansion of the market. Recently, new energy vehicles have been launched on the electricity market as a result of the rapid development of new energy vehicles.

The demand for lithium batteries is on the rise, particularly in the low-power market. Two-wheeled vehicles and power tools are quickly adopting lithium batteries, signaling promising long-term prospects for this market. In the consumer market, the development of 5G technology is anticipated to spark a new wave of growth for mobile phones and electrolytes used in consumer-grade lithium batteries. Although currently small, the energy storage electrolyte market is expected to experience significant growth due to the country's focus on renewable energy and its potential impact on large-scale energy storage technology. As a result, the demand for lithium battery electrolyte in the field of energy storage is projected to increase.

Please pay attention to the social public number far-vision consultation, further in-depth understanding of product details in the residual value section of the report:

Development of the industry

The status and development of the lithium battery industry

The status and trends of the lithium battery electrolyte industry.

There is steady growth in the global lithium battery electrolyte industry

The lithium battery electrolyte market in China is gradually growing.

The production of electrolytes maintains a stable trend of social development

Lithium battery electrolyte additives: current situation and future trends

Prospects for the downstream industry

Due to the increasing economic scale of the global 3C electronics market, lithium batteries have become more popular

Expansion of the power market

There is a nascent market for energy storage

There are new requirements for lithium batteries in the emerging 45G base station market