eLNO® is the next generation cathode battery material developed by Johnson Matthey (JM). It is used in batteries for electric vehicles. eLON features a layered, nickel-rich oxide structure with a proprietary stabilizer package and surface modifications that enable high nickel contents while moving to increasingly lower cobalt contents to achieve high energy density while providing very good cycle life. JM has announced several strategic developments for the commercialization of eLNO.
The company has agreed to partner with Finnish Minerals Group to develop a second eLNO plant in Vaasa, Finland. The first plant is located in Poland. The new plant will be powered solely by locally generated renewable energy. The plan is to develop a sustainable heat recovery solution that will feed the local heating system network. The plant will have a nameplate capacity of 30 kT and, subject to board approval following completion of the design, construction is expected to begin later this year.
In addition, Finnish Minerals Group will co-develop with JM to develop an integrated solution to treat sodium sulfate, a common manufacturing by-product, and will invest in pre-treatment technology of nickel and cobalt sulfates to tailor the materials to meet the requirements of high nickel cathode materials.
JM has announced an agreement with SQM to supply lithium hydroxide from its Salar del Carmen plant in Antofagasta, Chile. Lithium hydroxide is a critical raw material in eLNO. The contract runs from 2021 to 2028 and will support production in Poland and Finland. Enough lithium hydroxide will be supplied to power approximately 500,000 full electric vehicles.
JM has signed a term sheet with Nornickel for the supply of nickel and cobalt from Nornickel’s metal refineries in Harjavalta, Finland, and in the Kola region, Russia. This secures the supply of sustainable, responsibly sourced raw materials.
In addition to the supply of metals, JM and Nornickel also plan to collaborate on other battery materials value chain issues, including supply chain digitalization, circular economy opportunities, the application of a newly developed metal dissolution technology, and further enhancement of the sustainability of the value chain.
- Johnson Matthey Plc (JM), London, UK
- Finnish Minerals Group, Helsinki, Finland
- Nornickel, Moskau, Russia
- Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM), Santiago, Chile