The upstream of the lithium ion battery industry chain can be roughly divided into four parts: anode electrode material, cathode electrode material, electrolyte, and diaphragm. Among them, battery anode is the core component of the lithium battery, and it is also a key component that determines the performance and manufacturing cost of the lithium battery.
According to statistics, in 2021, China's lithium-ion battery anode material shipments will be 1.094 million tons, a significant year-on-year increase of 98.5%. At the same time, the output value of China's battery anode materials in 2021 will reach 141.91 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 123.1%, exceeding the increase in output value in 2017.
In 2022, the high prosperity of new energy vehicles will continue, the penetration rate will continue to increase, and the implementation of energy storage battery projects will accelerate, which will further stimulate the strong demand for li-ion battery materials.
1. Lithium battery market overview
The lithium ion battery is a secondary battery system in which two different lithium intercalation compounds capable of reversibly inserting and extracting lithium ions are used as the anode electrode and the cathode electrode of the battery respectively. During charging, lithium ions are extracted from the lattice of the positive electrode material and inserted into the lattice of the negative electrode material after passing through the electrolyte, so that the negative electrode is rich in lithium and the positive electrode is depleted of lithium.
During discharge, lithium ions are extracted from the lattice of the negative electrode material, and inserted into the lattice of the positive electrode material after passing through the electrolyte, so that the positive electrode is rich in lithium and the negative electrode is poor in lithium. In this way, the difference between the potential of the positive and negative electrodes relative to the metal lithium when inserting and extracting lithium ions is the working voltage of the battery.
The battery anode is the core component of the LIB, and it is also a key component that determines the performance and manufacturing cost of the lithium battery. Its characteristics directly determine the energy density of lithium battery, lithium ion battery life, safety performance, etc. of the li-ion battery, which in turn affects the overall performance of the battery. The battery anode accounts for 30%-40% of the cost of lithium battery materials, and its cost directly determines the overall cost of the lithium battery.
Therefore, battery anode plays a pivotal role in lithium batteries. Common battery anode for lithium batteries mainly include: lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium manganate (LMO), lithium iron phosphate (LFP), and ternary materials (NCM/NCA). The general molecular formula of the ternary material is determined by the relative content of the three elements, Li (Ni). The different ratios of the three elements make the ternary material produce different properties and meet diverse application needs.
Compared with anode materials such as lithium iron phosphate and lithium manganate, ternary materials have higher energy density and longer cruising range. Driven by the subsidy policy and end consumers' demand for increased cruising range, ternary material power batteries have gradually become the mainstream technology route in the field of passenger vehicles, and their proportion has gradually increased.
2. Development of the lithium battery anodeDriven by the downstream application market, lithium battery anode materials have gone through three stages of development. The first stage is driven by consumer batteries, and the anode material is represented by lithium cobalt oxide. The second stage, with the rapid growth of the new energy vehicle market, ternary materials have become the dominant market demand.
3. Battery anode market size
China has now become the world's largest exporter of lithium cobalt oxide and lithium manganate materials, and lithium iron phosphate and ternary anode materials have become the world's largest producer and user. China's battery anode material shipments maintained a rapid growth trend. According to data, in 2020, China's battery anode material shipments will reach 513,000 tons, a year-on-year increase of 27%.
The scale of China's anode material market reached 52.6 billion RMB, with a year-on-year growth rate of 5.3%. The total shipments of anode materials have continued to grow. The main reasons include:
- In 2020, ternary materials will be driven by the downstream LIB market such as new energy vehicles, power tools, and electric bicycles, and the market demand will continue to grow.
- Electronic cigarettes, TWS and other fields will continue to grow in 2020. There has been a relatively large increase.
- Lithium iron phosphate is driven by the LIB market for electric bicycles and electric special vehicles, and the shipment volume has also increased significantly.
4. Battery anode materials chain analysis
The main raw materials for the production of anode electrode materials include nickel sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, metallic nickel, battery-grade lithium carbonate, and battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
1. Upstream analysis
The main auxiliary materials include caustic soda, ammonia water, sulfuric acid, etc. These raw and auxiliary materials are mainly bulk chemicals , the market supply is relatively sufficient. It is worth noting that the prices of sulfates (nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate and manganese sulfate) and lithium salts (lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide) in the above chemicals have fluctuated greatly in the past.
Upstream suppliers include GEM, BHP Billiton, Marubeni, Tianqi Lithium, etc. Among them, GEM mainly sells cobalt sulfate, nickel sulfate and other sulfates, BHP Billiton mainly sells metal nickel powder, Tianqi Lithium mainly sells lithium salts such as lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. The main energy consumed in the production process is electricity, which is directly supplied by the local power supply department.
2. Midstream analysisThe midstream of the anode material industry chain consists of battery anode material manufacturers. At present, the main manufacturers in the industry include: Easpring, Changyuan Lico, Zhenhua New Materials, Tungsten New Energy, Shanshan Energy, Ronbay, etc. You can check the latest article of top 10 lithium ion battery anode material companies in China to get the latest ranking of companies.
3. Downstream analysis
The downstream of the anode material industry chain consists of lithium battery manufacturers. At present, well-known companies in the li-ion battery industry include: CATL, BYD, Farasis, Panasonic, Samsung SDI, LG Chem, Lishen, BAK, Envision, etc. From the perspective of shipments, the current world lithium battery industry is dominated by China, Japan and South Korea. The international giants are Panasonic, Samsung SDI and LG Chem, China's first echelon is CATL and BYD, and the second echelon is Farasis, Lishen, BAK, and Envision.