Wilmington, Del. — Chemours Co. entered into a strategic partnership with UniEnergy Technology LLC (UET), a redox flow battery manufacturer headquartered in Mukilteo, Wash.
The partnership will consist of an undisclosed investment in UET as well as a long-term and exclusive supply agreement for the use of Chemours' Nafion ion exchange membranes, according to a Chemours news release.
It will enable Chemours to further develop and optimize the Nafion product offering as the industry standard for applications in energy storage, raise market competitiveness and accelerate adoption, Chemours said. Nafion are perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes based on chemically stabilized
PFSA/polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) copolymers.
The energy market is a key growth area for Chemours' Fluoroproducts business, the Wilmington-based company said. As energy storage needs increase, use of fluoropolymers in renewable energy generation and storage applications is expected to grow by about 20 percent over the next 10 years.
A major component of Chemours' growth strategy is shifting from a product orientation to a market orientation, said Paul Kirsch, president of Chemours Fluoroproducts business. The partnership with UET allows Chemours to be at the forefront of the energy storage technology and provides greater insight into the market from the end-user perspective.
The partnership aligns well with the company's Corporate Responsibility Commitments by not only enabling the competitiveness of renewable energy but doing so with membrane technology that works together with a fully recyclable electrolyte, said Chemours CEO Mark Vergnano.
UET's redox flow battery is based on a third-generation, patented electrolyte developed at Pacific Northwest National Labs under the support of the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Storage Program, Chemours said. Flow batteries can be a solution for the energy obstacle of a long-duration, flexible and scalable way to store energy to ensure intermittent renewable resources work for consumers. Flow batteries maintain full storage capacity for more than 20 years and have an improved safety profile.