International crude oil prices have been declining in recent days. At present, light crude oil in New York has dropped below 80 US dollars / barrel; moreover, there may be limited upside in the next one to two years. A recent Reuters survey shows that more than one-third of respondents believe Brent crude will be below 100 U.S. dollars (currently around 91 U.S. dollars / bbl) in 2013 and nearly half of those surveyed believe that the 2014 North Habour Average price of rand crude oil is less than 100 U.S. dollars.
If analysts' forecasts are accurate, oil prices will remain low for some time to come. This will undoubtedly create more difficulties for the development of electric vehicles because the economy of electric vehicles relative to fuel trucks will be discounted. As the most optimistic about the future explosive growth of lithium batteries, the development prospects of electric vehicles will undoubtedly also affect the development of lithium batteries and the upstream material industry.
Of course, the current main lithium battery industry or consumer products. This article on the recent development of China's lithium battery upstream materials industry to do some brief analysis. As we all know, cathode materials, anode materials, electrolytes and separators are the four most important raw materials for lithium batteries, which have been playing an important role in the development of the lithium battery industry.
These four materials are not only the lithium battery technology innovation and performance improvement focus, but also the intense competition of domestic and foreign manufacturers in the field. Ternary materials gradually into the stars In lithium cobalt oxide, lithium manganese oxide, ternary materials and lithium iron phosphate four main lithium battery cathode material, the first half of this year ternary materials (lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide is an absolute majority) is undoubtedly The biggest star.
Prior to the Institute of Lithium-ion Polytechnic Institute research shows that in the past few years, once occupied the absolute majority of lithium cobalt oxide cathode material in the proportion of declining, and other materials, including ternary materials, the proportion of other cathode materials gradually increased, such as Figure 1 shows.
According to the survey, the output of ternary materials in China reached 5,300 tons in the first half of 2012, an increase of 20% over the same period of last year.
In the nickel-cobalt-manganese lithium ternary material, most of the Chinese manufacturers choose the ratio of 5: 2: 3 (ie, nickel: cobalt: manganese = 5: 2: 3). In addition to using lithium batteries made of ternary materials in addition to cost advantages, to replace part of the lithium cobalt oxide used in consumer electronics products, but also been widely used in electric bicycles.
It is expected that since 2014, ternary materials will replace lithium cobaltate as the largest proportion of cathode materials, as shown in Table 1. On the other hand, the manufacturers of lithium iron phosphate, a star material in previous years, have been struggling over the past two years. Due to the small overall demand for lithium iron phosphate and the large number of manufacturers, many manufacturers have almost no sales in recent years.
Relative to lithium iron phosphate, the main advantage of the ternary material is its high gram capacity and good production consistency. A new type of negative electrode material comes into being. The traditional lithium battery negative electrode materials mainly include natural graphite and artificial graphite, which together account for more than 95% of the total output of negative electrode material in our country.
China's two major anode materials - Shenzhen Beit Terry and Shanghai Shanshan have their own advantages in natural graphite and artificial graphite, the two companies last year, the output of anode materials were 7100 tons and 5100 tons, accounting for about 66% of the domestic market for anode materials Share. As the current production of carbon anode material g capacity has reached 360mAh / g, close to 372mAh / g theoretical gram capacity, to enhance the space is small. In this context, grams of capacity up to 4000mAH / g of silicon-based anode material (silicon doped graphite) came into being.
At present, Shanghai Shanshan is in the hundred kilograms of grade pilot stage. In the meantime, Nanjing Ampyus (headquartered in California, USA) successfully developed silicon nanowire anode materials with an energy density of 640Wh / L for all-cell testing and a cycle life of more than 550 cycles. The estimated energy density in 2014 800Wh / L. Silicon negatives are more costly than silicon carbon negatives. However, Ampire claims that the cost of silicon negatives for battery manufacturers will be comparable to that of high grade graphite negatives. On the other hand, lithium titanate has also become an ideal negative electrode material due to its "zero strain", that is, the lithium titanate crystals have small lattice constant and volume change of less than 1% when intercalated or pulled out of lithium ions.
In the charge-discharge cycle, this "zero strain" can be avoided due to the expansion and contraction of the electrode material structure damage, thereby improving the electrode cycle performance and service life, reduce the cycle to bring the specific capacity attenuation, with very good resistance Overcharge, over discharge characteristics.
Zhejiang Changxing micro-macro power system developed lithium titanate material, allegedly can reach 6C rate, the level of 20,000 cycles. However, the high cost of lithium titanate has become the main constraint, compared to natural graphite 6-10 yuan / ton and artificial graphite 8-10 yuan / ton price, the price of lithium titanate to more than 200,000 yuan / ton. With the continuous improvement of the performance requirements of lithium battery materials, various new anode materials will inevitably receive increasing attention and will be continuously developed and marketed. Lithium hexafluorophosphate is always the focus
China's major manufacturers of electrolytes, including Jiangsu Cathay Huarong, Tianjin Taurus, Dongguan Shanshan, the new state universe and Guangzhou Godsend. Among them, Cathay Huarong, the No. 1 in output, produced more than 4,300 tons in 2011, and about 50% of its electrolyte is exported. At present, the electrolyte industry is highly competitive at home and abroad, with more new manufacturers.
At the same time, many manufacturers have large-scale expansion plans, such as polyfluoride plans to reach 20,000 tons of electrolyte capacity by the end of 2013, the new state of the state planning production capacity in 2012 reached 12,000 tons. As the most important raw material to dispose the electrolyte, lithium hexafluorophosphate has always been the focus of electrolyte companies, but also become the major companies competing to enter the field.
In the major producers of electrolytes, Cathay Huarong, Dongguan Shanshan and the new state of the universe have not yet produced lithium hexafluorophosphate. The major producers of domestic lithium salts (lithium hexafluorophosphate) include Tianjin Taurus (about 300 tons in 2011), Henan Fluoride (195 tons in 2011) and Guangzhou Godsend (92 tons in 2011).
At the same time, lithium salt producers at home and abroad have different levels of expansion plans. For example, Japan's Morita Chemical, one of the world's top three lithium hexafluorophosphate, planned a production capacity of 2,500 tons at Zhangjiagang. Foosung, which claims to be the only lithium hexafluorophosphate producer in Korea, is expanding its production capacity from 2,000 tons to 3,000 tons. Its Nantong Plant will It started production in January 2013; Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Changyuan plans to expand its production capacity from 200 tons to 1,000 tons; its plan to expand to 2,000 tons; With the new production capacity gradually reached production, the original lithium hexafluorophosphate up to 60% of the profit margin will be difficult to maintain. In addition to lithium hexafluorophosphate, high-voltage electrolyte has also become a hot spot for recent research and development. For example, a high voltage of 4.65V can be achieved in ternary materials simply by adding appropriate additives without changing the existing electrolyte system.
Membrane rise of the domestic brand diaphragm as the four most technologically difficult materials, the latest domestication of lithium battery materials, due to its high profits (for example, Foshan Jinhui 2010 gross margin of 65.8%, net profit margin of 48.5%) has become a hot investment . The main raw materials used for the separator are polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are low in cost. Therefore, the main sources of separator production cost are depreciation of production equipment and low yield. Diaphragm production with large-scale investment, technical difficulty and the need for a long time accumulation characteristics.
Lithium battery production equipment diaphragm is not readily available, manufacturers need to participate in the design, which has become a technical threshold. At present, an important trend of the diaphragm industry is the rise of domestic brands. Compared with the foreign diaphragm giants such as Celgard, although there is still a gap between domestically produced diaphragm membranes, the progress has been greatly made in recent years and the gap with foreign countries has continued to shrink.
Foreign manufacturers also recognize that from the domestic product quality diaphragm (refer to the first-class manufacturers of diaphragm), its technical level has been close to the international advanced level. The domestic membrane manufacturers shortcomings mainly reflected in the product consistency, continuous production capacity and batch stability is poor; process management needs to be improved.
In 2011, the production of diaphragm in our country mainly concentrated in Xinxiang Gelin, Shenzhen Star Source Materials and Foshan Jinhui 3, as shown in Figure 2. According to the survey, according to the new entrants in the market and the expansion plan of the old factory, the first half of 2013 will be the focus period of domestic diaphragm capacity, and the annual production capacity is expected to reach as high as 1 billion square meters.
Domestic membrane production in 2012 is expected to be about 250 million square meters, of which Xinhua Griffin and Shenzhen Star Materials were about 60 million square meters, Foshan Jinhui about 50 million square meters, the Big Three still occupy a major share of the market.