- The global high-purity alumina (HPA) market for lithium-ion batteries was valued at more than US$ 92 Mn in 2018. It is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of approximately 19% during the forecast period
- The 4N segment accounted for major share of the high-purity alumina market for lithium-ion batteries, owing to high cost-to-performance ratio of these products
- Automotive end-use segment is estimated to overtake the electronics segment by the end of the forecast period, owing to high demand for electric vehicles throughout the globe
- Asia Pacific is anticipated to be one of the high growth regions of the high-purity alumina market for lithium-ion batteries, owing to an increase in demand for electric vehicles for reduction of carbon emission in the developing economies such as China and India.
Key Drivers for High-purity Alumina Market for Lithium-ion Batteries:
- High-purity alumina is used as a coating on separator sheets. This plays an important role in increasing the separator’s lifecycle, as it provides certain benefits such as high thermal stability, chemical stability, long lifecycle, and high heat shrink ability
- High-purity alumina-coated lithium batteries are much safer than traditional batteries, as they can withstand high temperature incursions and are less flammable during thermal runaways. Additionally, high-purity alumina coated lithium-ion batteries possess low self-discharge rate, high battery discharge rate, and long lifecycle
- These benefits of high-purity alumina make it a favorable choice of material for battery separator coatings. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive the demand for high-purity alumina for lithium-ion batteries.
4N Segment to Gain Momentum:
- In terms of grade, the 4N segment constituted major share of the global HPA market for lithium-ion batteries in 2018 owing to extensive use of this grade in the electronics end-use industry
- The 4N segment is estimated to expand at a rapid pace due to the high demand for mobile electronic devices across the developing economies
Automotive Segment to Expand at Considerable Pace:
- In terms of application, the automotive segment held significant share of the global market in 2018. The segment is likely to expand at a CAGR of 18.3% from 2019 to 2027.
- Demand for high-purity alumina for lithium-ion battery separator coating applications is expected to rise significantly during the forecast period due to the increasing demand for electric vehicles with high performance lithium-ion batteries, which possess certain characteristics such as long lifecycle and high level of heat resistance
- High demand for electric vehicles in countries such as China, the U.S., and South Korea is anticipated to drive the High-purity alumina market for lithium-ion batteries
Asia Pacific Dominates Global High-purity Alumina Market for Lithium-ion Batteries:
- Asia Pacific and North America were key regions of the high-purity alumina market for lithium-ion batteries in 2018. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace owing to FDI and business expansion of companies in high growth areas, such as India and Southeast Asia.
- Rise in population, rapid urbanization, and robust economic growth are major macroeconomic drivers of the high-purity alumina market for lithium-ion batteries. Regulatory bodies and major firms across the region are encouraging and promoting the use of electric cars.
- China is expected to become a key country of the high-purity alumina market for lithium-ion batteries, accounting for around 50% share in Asia Pacific by 2027, owing the increase in government investment in environment protection and pollution control to reduce carbon emission through the adoption of electric cars
- In February 2018, Sasol Limited expanded its alumina capacity at its Brunsbuettel site in Germany. The expansion is expected to increase Sasol Limited’s alumina hydrate production capacity in Brunsbuettel by approximately 15,000 tons per annum, enabling the company to cater to the rising demand for its alumina products.
- In May 2017, Hill End Gold Ltd signed an agreement with Pure Alumina Limited for the acquisition of a high-purity alumina project. Pure Alumina Limited is expected to commence production by 2020 with annual capacity rate of 10,000 tons per annum of 99.99% (4N) high-purity alumina.
- In September 2016, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. expanded production capacity for lithium-ion secondary batteries in South Korea. In 2016, the company also acquired a majority stake in Tanaka Chemical Corp., which develops and produces cathode materials for lithium-ion secondary batteries.
The global high-purity alumina market for lithium ion batteries is anticipated to be consolidated with few players accounting for large share of the market. The players operating in the market depict a medium to low level of forward integration. High costs of manufacturing coupled with high degree of technical knowledge required to manufacture high purity alumina is anticipated to reduce the threat of new players in the market. The top five players operating in the market accounted for a combined market share of 39% in 2018. These players are Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Hebei Heng Bo New Material Technology Co. Ltd., Sasol Ltd., Baikowski SAS, and Xuan Chen Jing Rui New Material Co., Ltd.
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