The new energy industry has entered a period of rapid development, and the rapid development of lithium scenery is promoted by technological upgrading iteration.
This article will share the products or technologies that may develop on a large scale in some segments of the battery industry of lithium in the future. It mainly includes three aspects: lithium batteries material conductive carbon black, (PET) composite copper foil, and lithium manganese iron phosphate.
1. Development of the conductive carbon black
New energy vehicles have entered a period of rapid development, and power battery shipments are expected to achieve rapid growth. It is expected that the compound growth rate of demand in the next few years will be close to 50%, which can play a strong driving role in the key raw materials and auxiliary materials upstream.
●What is conductive carbon black?
Conductive carbon black belongs to one of the non-rubber carbon black, the mainstream conductive agent, and demand continues to benefit from the lithium battery industry. At present, conductive carbon black and carbon nanotubes are the main conductive agent products.
●With relatively high growth space
Conductive carbon black has the highest economy compared to other conductive agents, and is currently the most widely used conductive agent product, with shipments accounting for about 70%.
China's lithium-grade conductive carbon black developed relatively late, and the rapid growth of downstream demand formed a supply gap, driving prices up. Lithium-grade conductive carbon black was supplied with foreign capital in the early stages.
At present, Chinese suppliers are gradually beginning to have the basis to break the monopoly. At present, there are not many companies capable of producing conductive carbon black. If the early basis of conductive carbon black is used, it is expected to take the lead in the breakthrough of conductive carbon black.
A mature conductive carbon black production line, mainly used in cable shielding material, conductive masterbatch and other fields, in the production of special carbon, especially conductive carbon black, has production experience and a solid technical foundation. For conductive carbon black products for lithium batteries, it is necessary to have early technical accumulation.
On the one hand, it focuses on the production of high-end special carbon black through post-treatment, and benchmarks high-end conductive carbon black products.
On the other hand, from the perspective of the industry, as the progress of self-developed lithium battery carbon black continues to advance, it is expected to replace high-performance conductive carbon black. At present, the conductive carbon black high-performance lithium battery has a tight structural supply, and the price continues to rise.
2. The PET market
●What is the composite copper foil (PET)
Lithium battery copper foil is currently used as the anode and current collector of lithium batteries. And most of the top 10 lithium ion battery anode material companies are also focus on PET. So what is composite copper foil? Composite copper foil is a kind of battery current collector material shaped like a "sandwich", in which the middle layer is a 4.5μm thick PET and PP base film, and the outer layer is plated with 1μm thick copper.
Compared with traditional lithium-ion copper foil, the advantages of composite copper foil are mainly high safety, improved energy density and long service life. At the same time, it is worth noting that the cost-saving effect of raw materials like PET and copper foil is obvious.
The agency predicts that the current processing fee for 6μm lithium battery copper foil is about 40,000 RMB, and the price of a single square meter is about 5.38 RMB. PET copper foil has the characteristics of good safety, high energy density and long life.
●Problems with PET
At present, the barriers of PET copper foil are mainly reflected in the process and equipment. The magnetron sputtering method is the most difficult part of the process link, that is, how to plate copper evenly and tightly on a very thin base film.
This requires continuous trial and error on the sputtering path and sputtering force, otherwise there will be problems such as uneven sputtering, breakdown of the base film/powder loss.
The subsequent thickening copper plating process is actually derived from the electroplating process of the PCB, but the actual operating requirements are higher.
●The future market of PET
Global sales of new energy vehicles are expected to reach more than 10 million units this year, with a year-on-year growth rate of about 57%. The corresponding power battery production is expected to reach 644 GW, a growth rate of 64%. It will achieve a breakthrough from 0 to 1.
Assuming that the penetration rate of PET copper foil in 2022–2025 is 0.5%, 1%, 5%, or 10%, the corresponding battery demand is 55/148/298Gwh, and the CAGR is 265%. PET composite aluminum film is a good alternative to traditional lithium battery current collectors (aluminum foil and copper foil) because of its advantages of energy density, safety improvement and cost reduction.
The boom in new energy vehicles and consumer electronics is expected to move from 0 to 1. Core stocks that benefit the industry should be closely monitored, and once the commercialization of the industry is accelerated, the stock price will be fully reflected.
3. Industrialization of lithium manganese iron phosphate
●Advantages of lithium ferromanganese phosphate
In 2020, lifepo4 batteries began to recover, and the current prosperity is still at a high level. However, the energy density of iron lithium is close to the upper limit, and manganese iron lithium can make up for the short board of iron and lithium.
From the perspective of two-wheeler lithium batteries shipments, it occupies the main market, mainly because lithium manganate has a low yield (lower than lithium iron) and good low temperature performance, but the disadvantage is poor cycle life. Each product for the car is still in the verification stage, and the compound with ternary products opens the automotive market, and pure industrialization may take 2-3 years.
Lithium manganese iron is not a new material in the near future, and there has been some of the top 5 lithium manganese battery manufacturers attention in the early days. LMFP research and development has gradually been shelved, and the bottleneck of manganese iron lithium technology is gradually being solved. It is expected to return to the public eye.
Lithium manganese phosphate market and field. At present, lithium manganese phosphate is mainly used in the field of two-wheelers. At the same time, it may be compounded with ternary batteries in the future. The current stage has little impact on the company's fundamentals.