BANDUNG, itb.ac.id – The electric vehicle industry is predicted to grow fast in the years to come. Indonesia can play a strategic role in the future because it has primary raw materials for electric vehicle batteries, especially nickel, cobalt, aluminum, copper and manganese, as well as the large domestic market of cars and motor vehicles.
That was said by Prof. Dr.mont. M. Zaki Mubarok. Prof. Zaki raised a scientific speech with the topic “Provision of Raw Materials for Domestic Electric Vehicle Batteries Through the Processing and Refining of Laterit Nickel Ore”.
According to the 2019 Mineral Commodity Summaries data from the United States of Geological Survey (USGS) in 2019, Indonesia has the largest nickel reserves in the world of 21 million tons of nickel equivalent in 2008 and the level of mining production in that year was 560,000 tons of equivalent nickel.
“Nickel reserves in Indonesia are in the form of deposits of laterite nickel which is a product of lateralization or weathering of ultramafic rocks (rocks containing magnesium and iron),” he said.
Prof. Zaki added, the battery is a key component for electric vehicles and contributes around 35-40% of the current price of electric cars. The biggest cost component for making an electric car battery is the material cost which reaches approximately 60% of the total cost of making a battery.
“Electric cars use lithium ion batteries with lithium nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum used as raw materials for cathode materials and graphite as an anode material. The cathode material contributes the highest to the price of lithium battery cells which is around + -34%, “he explained. He estimates that sales of electric cars in the world will continue to increase reaching + – 55%, by 2040 around 48% are battery-based electric cars.
In Indonesia, Presidential Regulation No.55 of 2019 has been signed concerning the acceleration of the battery-based electric motorized vehicle program for road transportation. According to him, Indonesia can play a strategic role in the electric vehicle industry because of the availability of raw materials and also the domestic market for cars and motorcycles.
“Most of the materials needed for the manufacture of electric car batteries are available domestically, except for lithium, where the expansion process is still being improved,” said Professor of Extraction Metallurgy.
Research activities regarding the process of metal extraction and refining are carried out at KK Metallurgical Engineering, FTTM ITB. In the past 10 years, there have been many research activities carried out in the Hydro-electrometallurgical Lab both from the upstream stage to the synthesis of the product.
In 2020, as explained by Prof. Zaki, Hydro-electrometallurgical Laboratory, KK Metallurgical Engineering ITB will conduct research to synthesize nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate from local laterite nickel ore which will be used to prepare NMC battery cell cathodes.
“Opportunities for research and development of the material synthesis process for the supply of electric vehicle battery materials are still quite open both in the area of mineral processing and refining and metal recycling to the preparation of precursors battery and testing the performance of battery cells that have been produced,” he concluded.