Masan business looks forward to green branding

By Phong Van    October 18, 2022 | 01:00 am PT
A subsidiary of Masan Group is investing in technology and innovation to introduce green products that benefit the community.

The concept of "green brands" is growing in popularity as consumer incomes increase, and environmental protection is given more attention. Future forecasts predict an increasingly huge demand for green, environmentally-friendly products.

Thereby, consumers are now choosing to buy products associated with green production or green brands. To catch up to this trend, manufacturers have got to make a lot of changes from the materials and energy used in production to the way the product's life cycle evolves.

Early this year, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh outlined a roadmap to realize net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Many businesses in Vietnam have prepared an action plan to achieve this target.

Local businesses are putting technology in place to progressively change how their products are produced and supplied to the market in order to meet environmental protection standards.

One of these technologies is the application of tungsten in batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are now used in a variety of devices, from mobile phones to electric cars. The advantage of this battery is rechargeability and incredibly high energy density storage.

However, some aspects still need improvement like the safety of ultra-high power density batteries or how to dispose of them at the end of their life cycle to avoid harm to the environment.

The application of tungsten in batteries researched by Masan High-Tech Materials (MHT), a subsidiary of Masan Group, will help improve battery performance and safety.

lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries produced by Masan High-Tech Materials. Photo by MHT

The MHT’s first strategic step is to cooperate with Germany’s Center for Solar and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), investigating the use of tungsten-based cathode coatings in Lithium-ion batteries. After systematic examination on some tungsten precursors for their suitability, the first coating tests have now started. According to current scientific literature, the tungsten-based coatings can significantly increase the cycle stability of a lithium-ion battery even with very small weight fractions.

The second phase is to carry out electrochemical studies in order to develop tailor-made tungsten chemicals for improved battery performance and safety. The production of batteries with higher performance and safety is a crucial factor toward increased adoption and use.

In July 2022, MHT’s subsidiary, H.C Starck Tungsten Powders (HCS) invested 52 million euro into Nyobolt, an ultra-fast charging Li-ion battery solutions company. The move to join hands with Nyobolt is an important step in the development and application of high-tech Tungsten materials in the manufacturing of new-generation batteries.

Nyobolt is the only known battery company that comes close to commercialization of the tungsten intensive batteries with rechargeability of up to more than 90% in only five minutes and 5-10 times greater battery durability. This type of battery is expected to help solve new problems and establish a comprehensive clean energy ecosystem.

With excellent performance and advantages that other types of energy batteries struggle to achieve, the future tungsten-based Lithium-ion batteries will be able to efficiently store renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy, contributing to a bright future, where humans and the Earth are no longer impacted by fossil fuel pollution and the greenhouse effect.

H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders, a Germany-based subsidiary of Masan High-Tech Materials

H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders, a Germany-based subsidiary of Masan High-Tech Materials. Photo by MHT

Cooperation between HCS and Nyobolt not only helps Nyobolt scale up in the U.K. and U.S., but also offers a sustainable energy storage solution. Nyobolt technology will not only enable net zero both in the electrification of transport, but also the storage of clean and renewable energy on and off the grid, contributing to the realization of clean energy goals set by governments around the world.

Moreover, the cooperation between HCS and Nyobolt in battery technology is anticipated to help promote the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategies for both companies, expanding their production capacity while minimizing their carbon footprint with an efficient recycle and reuse program.

"Our goal is looking to do better and innovate more while complying with the law and minimizing the impact on the environment, thus making an overall positive contribution to society. We look forward to working together with the Nyobolt team to advance their product offering and opportunities to partner in the manufacturing and commercialization of their products as well as offering a full life cycle for the advanced strategic materials required in the Nyobolt batteries," Craig Bradshaw, CEO of Masan High-Tech Materials, said.

With a closed loop of the battery life cycle, MHT has accelerated the development toward a circular economy for batteries, and also transformed from a high-tech material supplier into a global consumer technology business in the field of energy batteries.

Contributions to battery technology are only part of transformation into a green brand for MHT. This transformation also comes from the contribution of mining operations. Bradshaw further stated: "We don’t deplete or denude the natural resources, but we research and develop recycling technologies."

A total 40% of the tungsten currently supplied by MHT comes from recycling.

"A lot of our products are made from the recycled materials. This effectively contributes to environmental protection," according to the CEO.

From now to 2027, MHT has outlined a complete strategy for the battery industry, from availability of high-tech battery manufacturing technology to the expansion of the materials used in batteries toward a more environmentally friendly and safe direction with a higher performance. MHT is about to commercialize its battery recycling and become a supplier of battery technology to global customers.

In addition, the MHT’s recycled product portfolio will be further expanded to not only Tungsten but also Cobalt, Copper, Lithium etc. As such, Masan High-Tech Materials is expected to be a Vietnamese company leading the recycling industry in the next two years.

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