As governments worldwide promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption through incentives and stricter emission regulations, the demand for high-performance and sustainable battery technologies is growing. Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are facing a significant challenge in meeting the surging demand due to the limited supply of batteries and critical materials essential for EV production. Lithium-ion batteries, powered by advanced components like high-purity manganese sulfate (HPMSM), have become the preferred choice for EV manufacturers due to their exceptional performance, safety and affordability.

The manganese advantage in lithium-ion batteries

Utilized as a raw material to produce cathode active materials, lithium-ion batteries using manganese-based cathodes offer several advantages. They enhance safety, promote longevity and provide thermal stability, making them an ideal choice for EV batteries. Manganese-containing cathodes contribute to cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability of lithium-ion batteries. Manganese ore production and reserves are vast and HPMSM prices are low relative to nickel, cobalt and lithium. Although battery-grade manganese processing does not require new mining capacity, scale-up time is can average two to four years.

Bridging the gap in EV battery supply

To enable the widespread adoption of EV battery technology, ensuring a stable supply chain of high-purity manganese is crucial. A dependable supply chain impacts battery production, EV manufacturing and the overall transition towards cleaner energy solutions. Vibrantz already manufactures various manganese chemicals at scale and produces HPMSM at its facility in Saint-Ghislain, Belgium.

We recently announced we are embarking on a three-year journey beginning with the construction of a pilot project at our Tampico, Mexico, facility that will enable the production of up to 45,000 metric tons per year of HPMSM which could help power roughly two million EVs. This new HPMSM capacity is expected to be operational in 2026.  The expanded Mexican site, together with the existing plant in Belgium, is expected to provide two reliable HPMSM sources for the lithium-ion battery market.

“With our extensive experience of more than a decade in high-purity manganese sulfate production and over 50 years in the manganese chemical market, we are delivering cutting-edge technologies that not only benefit the OEMs in their EV production but also contribute to a more sustainable future for consumers through lower carbon footprint vehicles.”

Jean-Thibault de Besombes, senior director of strategy and product management for advanced materials at Vibrantz.

This initiative positions Vibrantz to meet the growing demand for high-performing batteries and support the rapid adoption of cleaner energy solutions.

Driving force of high-purity manganese sulfate

The significance of high-purity manganese sulfate in lithium-ion batteries stems from its ability to improve the electrochemical properties of the battery. This transition metal offers a range of benefits:

  • Improved performance: Manganese-based cathodes deliver high energy density and excellent power output, leading to longer driving ranges and enhanced acceleration for EVs.
  • Safety enhancement: Manganese contributes to thermal stability, reducing the risk of overheating or thermal runaway, ensuring the safety of EVs and their batteries.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Abundant and relatively low-cost compared to other metals used in lithium-ion battery cathodes, manganese is an economically viable choice.
  • Sustainability: By reducing reliance on expensive and environmentally impactful materials, manganese-based cathodes align with the sustainable vision of the EV industry.

As the automotive industry accelerates electrification, HPMSM plays a vital role in addressing key challenges, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Learn more about how Vibrantz is helping build a longer-lasting, more efficient battery.

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Jean-Thibault de Besombes

Senior Director of Strategy and Product Management, Advanced Materials

Jean-Thibault de Besombes

Senior Director of Strategy and Product Management, Advanced Materials

Jean-Thibault de Besombes leads strategy and product management for advanced materials at Vibrantz. He previously held several sales management positions at Prince, was business development manager at Erachem and strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. De Besombe serves as chairman of the International Manganese Institute’s (IMnI’s) committee on high purity manganese. He holds two Master of Science degrees from Ecole Polytechnique (France) and California institute of Technology (USA).