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Asahi Kasei licenses technology package to manufacture high-purity ethylene carbonate and dimethyl carbonate using CO2 as main feedstock

Technology package for manufacturing high-purity carbonates for Li-ion battery electrolyte

July 1, 2021
Asahi Kasei Corp.

Asahi Kasei has concluded its first license agreement for a technology package to manufacture high-purity ethylene carbonate (EC) and high-purity dimethyl carbonate (DMC) using CO2 as one of the main feedstocks. Demand for high-purity EC and DMC is growing worldwide as components of the electrolyte solution of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) which are used in smartphones and electric vehicles.

Demand for LIBs is forecasted to continue to grow along with increasing sales of electric vehicles. From the environmental perspective, the major LIB components should themselves be eco-friendly. Having previously commercialized a process to manufacture polycarbonate (PC) using CO2 as feedstock via EC and DMC as intermediates, Asahi Kasei developed technology to manufacture high-purity EC and DMC to be used as solvent for LIB electrolyte. The first license of this technology package has been concluded as follows.

Outline of the license agreement

Scope of license
Technology package to manufacture 38,000 tons of high-purity EC and 70,000 tons of high-purity DMC per year
Major overseas chemical manufacturer
Rights granted
Nonexclusive right for manufacture in the relevant country and nonexclusive right for sale worldwide

A distinctive feature of the technology package is the use of CO2 as feedstock, in the same way as the process to manufacture PC. For the manufacture of high-purity EC and DMC, CO2 accounts for approximately half of the feedstock. On the scale of the license announced today, 50,000 tons of CO2 would be consumed annually.

Asahi Kasei believes that this technology makes an important contribution to sustainability by enabling the supply of environmentally friendly LIB electrolyte solution. The company will continue to proactively license ecological technology that uses CO2 as feedstock.

Since commercializing the world’s first process to manufacture PC from CO2 as feedstock at Chimei-Asahi Corporation in Taiwan in 2002, Asahi Kasei has licensed the technology to 6 companies in 5 countries and regions with a total annual production capacity of approximately 900 thousand tons of PC, equivalent to approximately 16% of the world’s overall PC production capacity of approximately 6 million tons per year.