Like all technology, lithium-ion batteries have evolved incorporating new chemistries for different applications and increased performance. Like most batteries, the lithium-ion version offers the same components inside the cell to produce power from a chemical reaction—a positive electrode, a negative electrode, and an electrolyte.
- Lithium Cobalt Oxide-based Batteries
- Lithium manganese oxide-based batteries
- Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide-based batteries
- Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide-based batteries
- Lithium iron phosphate-based batteries
- Lithium titanate oxide-based batteries
Lithium cobalt oxide-based batteries
Cobalt oxide-based battery further referred to as LCO, is a mature battery technology characterized by long cycle lifetime and high energy density. Moreover, LCO is the most popular battery technology used in portable electronic devices due to its excellent charging/discharging rate and high energy density. LCO consists of a cobalt oxide positive electrode as a cathode and a graphite carbon negative electrode as an anode. A typical LCO battery cell is rated at 3.7 V. However, due to concerns with safety and the high price of cobalt, LCO batteries are not suitable for automotive applications. Another disadvantage of LCO-based batteries is represented by their poor thermal stability.
Lithium manganese oxide-based batteries
Manganese oxide (LiMn2O4) based battery, further referred to as LMO, has a higher nominal voltage than LCO-based battery cells, rated between 3.8 and 4 V. On the other hand, the energy density of LMO batteries is approximately 20% less than the ones of LCO batteries. Other important attributes of LMO battery cells are high thermal stability, lower cost, and improved safety. However, due to its relatively short cycle life and high capacity losses, the LMO battery cell is not suitable for electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles nor hybrid plug-in electric vehicle applications. LMO batteries do not have good power nor energy density.
Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide-based batteries
Nickel cobalt aluminum oxide based battery, further referred as NCA, has a lower voltage and a better safety characteristic, compared with LCO-based battery. Furthermore, NCA-based batteries perform well in terms of power density, energy density and lifetime. The main drawbacks of this Li-ion battery chemistry are coming from their reduced safety and high cost.
Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide-based batteries
The cathode of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) is composed of cobalt, nickel, and manganese. The most commonly used NMC composition contains equal amounts of all three transition metals. NMC-based battery cells have a high capacity, good rate capability, and can operate at high voltages.
Lithium Iron phosphate-based Batteries
Iron phosphate (LiFePO4) based battery, further referred to as LFP, represents extremely attractive battery chemistry, because of its characteristics such as high capacity, low cost (lower than LCO batteries), flat voltage profile, and low environmental impact. LFP batteries are operating similar to NCA batteries, but with a higher degree of safety. Moreover, LFP batteries are considered suitable for being used in stationary, automotive, and back-up power applications because their characteristics (i.e. high safety, good thermal stability, long lifetime, and low self-discharge rate) are matching the demands of these applications.
Lithium Titanate Oxide-based Batteries
Titanate oxide (Li4Ti5O12) based battery, further referred to as LTO, is using lithium titanate nanocrystals on the anode surface, instead of carbon. This fact represents an advantage of LTO battery cells because they can release ions repeatedly for recharging and rapidly for high current. LTO has a spinel-framework structure and is characterized by a two-phase electrochemical process evolving with a relatively flat voltage profile. LTO-based batteries offer advantages in terms of power and stability, but they have a lower voltage level than the other Li-ion battery chemistries. However, this lower operating voltage brings advantages in terms of safety.
The characteristics of LTO include high cycling stability, no electrolyte decomposition, and thus no solid electrolyte interface formation, high rate/discharge capability, and high thermal stability in both charge and discharge state. Moreover, LTO-based batteries can operate at low temperatures. These characteristics make LTO a promising candidate for their use in stationary and back-up power applications.
Summary of Different Chemistries
The table below provides a summary of the different chemistries discussed above.
|Chemistry||Nominal Voltage[V]||Energy Density[Wh/kg]||Cycles Life[cycles]||Properties||Applications|
|LCO[Lithium Cobalt Oxide]||3.7||110-190||500-1000||High safety risk, good lifetime||used in portable electronic devices|
|LMO[Lithium Manganese Oxide]||3.8||100-120||1000||Cheaper, safer than LiCoO2 and LiNiO2||used in car audio applications and mobile medical devices|
|NCA[Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium]||3.6||100-150||2000-3000||High Energy, High Density, Expensive||–|
|NMC[Lithium Nickel Manganese Oxide]||3.6||100-170||2000-3000||High Voltage, Good Specific Capacity, High Safety Risk, Good Lifetime||used in electric cars are portable electronics|
|LFP[Lithium Iron Phosphate]||3.3||90-115||>3000||Long Lifetime, High Stability, Basic Low Cost||good potential replacement for lead-acid batteries in applications such as automotive and solar applications|
|LTO[Lithium Titanate Oxide]||2.2||60-75||>5000||Negligible Volume Expansion, Basic low cost, Stable electrochemical operation, high thermal stability||used in car audio applications as well as mobile medical devices|
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Keyword: Lithium, Lithium ion Battery, Lithium construction designs
Reference: Stan, Ana-Irina & Swierczynski, Maciej & Stroe, Daniel-Ioan & Teodorescu, Remus & Andreasen, Søren. (2014). Lithium-ion battery chemistries from renewable energy storage to automotive and back-up power applications — An overview. 2014 International Conference on Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment, OPTIM 2014. 713-720. 10.1109/OPTIM.2014.6850936.