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Dry cell batteries are an essential product in our daily lives and in recent years their application has widely broadened to encompass a variety of portable electronic devices. Major developments which have contributed to the increase in battery demand and improvements in battery performance include:
- Development of the portable transistor radio in the mid-1950's
- Commercialization of the radio cassette player in the late 1960's
- Market introduction of the headphone stereo in the late 1970's
- Debut of the portable Game-Boy in the late 1980's
- Development of the digital camera in the mid-1990's
Tosoh's manganese business dates from 1925 when Tekkosha Co., Ltd (merged with Tosoh Corporation in 1975) was established to produce various ferroalloys, including ferromanganese, used in the steel industry. The company then focused on producing a substitute for imported battery-grade natural manganese dioxide using low-grade domestic ore, as autarchy was necessary in the early 1930's. After the trial production of synthetic manganese dioxide in 1932, the company went on to produce EMD
in 1938, around the same period of the first commercial production of EMD in the United States.
The company resumed EMD production in 1953, after an interruption following the end of World War II. Since then, EMD has gradually replaced natural manganese dioxide, as its higher purity and quality was found to improve battery performance.
A new grass-roots EMD plant went on stream at Hyuga, in the southern part of Japan in 1965. In the plant, modern titanium cathodes were adopted instead of the carbon cathodes formerly used, in order to decrease impurities and improve the quality of the EMD. In 1975, Tosoh Hellas A.I.C.
, a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation, was established in Greece to supply EMD to the European market. With a total capacity of 52,000 tons/year, Tosoh Corporation is the proud leader in the EMD industry with a 20% share of the market. The company is strongly committed to a reliable supply and continuous improvement in the quality of its EMD.