A new facility slated to open later this year could make Madison a hub in the manufacturing process for rechargeable batteries and aid other U.S. companies in developing new technologies.

Orbia Fluor & Energy Materials, a business group within Mexican chemical manufacturing company Orbia, is converting an 11,000-square-foot building near the Beltline and Interstate 90 interchange into a production center for the electrolytes used in the batteries of everything from cell phones to military equipment.

Lithium-ion batteries consist of a positive electrode, a negative electrode, and lots of lithium ions traveling through a substance called electrolyte. When a battery is fully charged, all its lithium ions are at the positive electrode. As the battery uses its charge, they move toward the negative electrode until they’re all at the negative electrode and the battery is fully depleted.

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