Haldor Topsoe A/S, a global market leader in catalysis and related process technologies, has recently acquired 18% of the shares in the battery technology company Faradion Limited based in Sheffield Yorkshire, UK. As part of the investment, Haldor Topsoe will collaborate with Faradion to further co-develop and scale up key parts of the company’s sodium-ion technology. Furthermore, the investment provides Haldor Topsoe the right to manufacture and sell cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries under license from Faradion.
The investment marks the first ever equity investment aimed at broadening Haldor Topsoe’s technology portfolio and is closely linked to the company’s growth strategy ‘30 in 25’ that outlines how it plans to reach revenues of DKK 30 billion in 2025 based on its current strengths and R&D potential. According to Bjerne S. Clausen, CEO in Haldor Topsoe, it also marks the beginning of a more proactive and investigative approach to partnering and acquiring technologies.
“New technologies and business models that leverage our R&D position in catalysis play a key role in reaching our growth objectives, and in this regard we have identified battery materials as an important focus area with a clear strategic fit as well as a large addressable market and revenue opportunity,” says Bjerne S. Clausen.
Faradion was founded in 2010 with the objective to develop a low-cost, sodium-ion battery technology capable of reducing the cost of energy storage in a range of applications related to renewable energy, stationary storage, and transportation. Over the last few years, interest in sodium-ion batteries has increased. However, relatively little research has been conducted in this area and, as a result, next generation materials have not yet been brought to market.
Sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries represent a potential direct replacement for some lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, allowing current Li-ion battery manufacturers to use existing equipment to construct batteries using next-generation Na-ion materials. Over the last three years, Faradion has filed twelve patent applications covering various aspects of its proprietary technology platform, and the company is headed up by a management team with a second-to-none track record in the scientific and business related aspects of commercializing new battery technologies.
Faradion’s technology is promising because it enables the replacement of lithium in lithium-ion batteries with the more commonly available, sustainable, and much less expensive metal sodium without impacting adversely on any of the key performance characteristics of current large scale batteries. From a cost point of view this makes it highly interesting in wide range of industrial applications.
As a result of increased demand, especially from the automotive industry and for stationary power storage, industry analysts expect that the total battery market will increase significantly in the years to come. The majority of this demand will be met by various kinds of new cathode materials currently under development.
“The collaboration with Faradion is an excellent opportunity for Haldor Topsoe. As Faradion’s technologies mature they will need an industrial partner capable of scaling up production of their next-generation battery materials. Becoming this partner provides us with the possibility to accelerate access to a growing market with a product based on a disruptive technology,” says Ole A. Hansen, business development manager in Haldor Topsoe.
Haldor Topsoe is the second corporate investor to invest in Faradion. A leading multinational electronics and energy company invested in a minority stake in late 2012.
“The relationship with Haldor Topsoe provides us with a fast-track route to bring our materials to market in commercial quantities. Haldor Topsoe’s experience of large scale manufacturing of highly similar materials will enable the future users of our technology to secure high quality materials in commercial volumes at competitive prices,” says Chris Wright, CEO in Faradion Ltd.