LG Chem starts up capacity expansion for carbon nanotubes
By Mary Page Bailey |
LG Chem Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea) has launched the largest Carbon Nanotube (CNT) manufacturing plant in Korea. The company is actively targeting the rapidly growing CNT market, widely used as the material for cathodes in electric vehicle batteries. LG Chem’s 1,200-ton expansion of Yeosu CNT Plant 2 was completed and has begun the commercial operations. Combined with the existing 500 tons annual capacity, LG Chem now has production capabilities for a total capacity of 1,700 tons.
CNT is a new-generation novel material with the same level of electrical and thermal conductivity as copper and diamond, and 100 times the strength of steel. Due to its excellent properties that surpass existing materials, CNT has an infinite range of applications in batteries, semiconductors, automotive components, and surface heating elements. LG Chem’s new CNT Plant 2 was constructed as the world’s largest single-line production facility with a self-developed fluidized bed reactor. The plant has achieved stable quality control and process innovation through complete automation that has reduced power consumption by 30%.
The CNT produced at this plant will be supplied to battery companies such as LG Energy Solution, the current leader in the global electric vehicle battery market, as a conductive additive. Its applications will be extended to a wide range of industries. As the CNT market continues to grow, LG Chem plans to launch a third plant this year and continue expanding its capacity in the future.
In fact, the industry expects the global CNT demand to grow explosively at 40% per year, from 5,000 tons last year to 20,000 tons in 2024. LG Chem intends to robustly increase CNT sales as a conductive compound in semiconductor process trays and exterior electrostatic painting for automobiles, and as new applications in surface heating elements, semi-conductive high-voltage cables, and high-strength construction concrete.