The Canadian technology company Nano One just released an interesting update about its development of cobalt-free LNMO battery cells.
“Nano One has achieved over 500 fast charge and discharge cycles at 45°C,” said Dr. Campbell, “in an innovative battery design that pairs its high-voltage LNM cathode with a conventional electrolyte and a graphite anode. We have also reached 1000 fast charge and discharge cycles at 25°C demonstrating that issues of excessive gassing, anode contamination and poor cycling may be overcome.”
Nano One’s proprietary LNM battery enables the benefits of increased voltage, elevated operating temperatures and fast charging, by eliminating failure from gassing in the first few cycles and failure from manganese contamination of the anode in the first 100 cycles.
Dr. Campbell added “Nano One’s LNM battery innovation breaks through the barriers that have hindered the commercialization of LNM cathode materials in both conventional liquid and advanced solid-state batteries.”
LNM, also known as high voltage spinel (HVS), is a cobalt-free, low-cost cathode material that operates at 4.7 volts. This voltage is 25% higher than commercial high nickel cathodes, providing improved efficiency, thermal management and power. Battery pack models suggest that LNM cathodes may reduce costs by over 30% as compared to high nickel NMC materials [Wentker et al, Energies 12 (2019) 504-521].
While Nano One is developing a LNMO cathode with spinel structure that operates at high voltage (4,7 V), the LNMO cathode developed by SVOLT maintains a well-organized layered structure even after long term cycling and operates at lower voltage (3,81 V).
Usually battery cells operating at higher voltages require special electrolytes to prevent excessive cycling degradation, but Nano One seems to have surpassed this problem and is able to use a conventional electrolyte.
Anyway, improvements in cobalt-free cathodes are always important, since they are crucial for electric cars to be able to compete with ICE (internal Combustion Engine) cars in price and production volume. LFMP and LNMO are currently the most promising cobalt-free battery chemistries.