In the near future, an increasing share of our portable energy needs will be based on mobile energy storage devices, such as lithium-ion or lithium-sulfur batteries.

As part of a concerted effort to become a leader in the development and supply of advanced materials for such sustainable energy applications, Arkema France and CP2M, a CNRS / CPE / Univ. Lyon 1 research laboratory on the Lyon Tech-La Doua Campus, created this joint laboratory entitled Innovation Hub, Polymer 9 (iHub Poly-9). Research focuses primarily on the development of fluoropolymers for battery and other advanced applications.

In addition to a shared interest in the fundamentals of polymerisation between the 2 partners, the CP2M lab is one of the only academic laboratories in the world with the infrastructure and technical know-how needed to support such a wide range of activities for waterborne polymerisation research using gaseous or supercritical monomers.The joint expertise of the CP2M and Arkema in polymerization chemistry, polymer particle formation and stabilization, and process engineering will provide material solutions for the batteries of the future.  A long history of collaborative research with two local partners (the CP2M and Arkema's Pierre Bénite facility are less than 20 km apart) guarantees highly interactive research projects, and lays a solid foundation for this new adventure.

This important new project has been established to reinforce a history of successful research collaborations reaching back over 3 decades, and covering a wide range of topics from polymerization kinetics to particle stability, and from high solid content latexes to on-line monitoring and control.  More recently, Arkema and the CP2M polymer team have teamed up on several different research projects related to the production of poly vinylidene fluoride (PVDF):  

  • ANR PRCE Scale-up (2013), dealing with the scale of the emulsion polymerization of vinylidene fluoride.  This project 2 PhD projects: an experimental one in which we investigated the kinetics of the polymerisation process and a second that focused on CFD simulations to better apprehend mixing times as a function of reactor scale.  A 4 litre pilot plant was built at the CP2M for this purpose, and allowed us to run polymerisations at pressures of over 80 bars.
  • This was shortly followed by a 2 CIFRE one in which we explored the production of PVDF latexes in surfactant free systems using RAFT and the concept of polymerisation induced self assembly (PISA), and a second dealing with high solid content latexes.
  • A second ANR PRCE called CLEANPOLY in 2017, with the additional participation of KEM ONE.  This project deals with the study of particle stability and reactor fouling in PVDF and PVC dispersed phase polymerisations.
  • In 2020 we were awarded a Pack Ambition Recherchesponsored by the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes Regional government. This project will pick up where Scale-up left off, and focus on quantifying the impact of porcess related parameters such as the stirring of the reactor in VDF polymerisation.

The iHub Poly-9 project represents a budget of more than 3 millions euros over the course of 5 years in its first phase.

Shared resources also include a dedicated polymer synthesis laboratory at the CP2M, including 2 pilot reactors of 4L for process engineering studies and scale-up studies, as well as 2 smaller reactors of 350 ml for the exploration of new synthetic pathways.

Polymer synthesis lab at the CP2M. Partial funding for the PVDF pilot plant by the Région Auvergne-Rhône Alpes is gratefully acknowledged.


Centre d ’excellence batterieARKEMA Christian Collette (Pierre Benite – CRRA)


We talk about it in the press :

Le CNRS, Arkema et d’autres acteurs s’associent pour « concevoir les batteries du futur » - on nextinpact.com - 05/05/2022

Batteries : un nouveau laboratoire se consacre à améliorer leurs performances - on actu-environnement.com - 06/05/2022

Le CNRS et Arkema lancent un laboratoire commun pour optimiser les batteries grâce à des polymères fluorés innovants - usinenouvelle.com - 10/05/2022