Altair Nanotechnologies has completed an internal safety-testing cycle for its nano-structured negative electrode material—nano Lithium Titanium Oxide (nLTO)—that replaces the graphite used in conventional lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.)
Via a course of safety tests conducted over the past few months, Altairnano’s nLTO demonstrated safety under conditions where standard graphite-based cells typically smoke, vent and explode, according to the company.
The safety testing cycle that Altairnano has just completed on nano Lithium Titanium Oxide (nLTO)-enabled batteries is a significant milestone in the continued development of HEVs and EVs [hybrid-electric vehicles and electric vehicles] for mass usage, as well as for a diverse range of other applications. We put nLTO to a rigorous and uncompromising set of tests and the results were extremely compelling, in terms of safety, performance and lifespan.—Alan Gotcher, Altair Nanotechnologies CEO and President
Altairnano performed hot-box exercises on its batteries at temperatures up to 240° C—more than 100° C above the temperature at which graphite-based batteries can explode—with zero explosions or safety concerns.
In addition, Altairnano performed high-rate overcharge, puncture, crush, drop and other comparative tests alongside a wide range of graphite-based battery cells with, again, no malfunctions, explosions or safety concerns exhibited by the nano-structured Altairnano nLTO cells. In comparison, the graphite cells, put to the same tests, routinely smoked, caught fire and exploded.
In addition to the safety enhancements achieved via nLTO, Altairnano’s nLTO battery technology offers improvements, as compared to graphite-based lithium ion cells, to certain measures of cell performance important in the EV and EV market. For example, battery cells using nLTO can be charged in as little as one minute, according to the company, while graphite-containing cells take between one and two hours to charge.
Altairnano has performed tests demonstrating more than 9,000 use cycles at charge/discharge rates at which other battery types simply cannot function, let alone charge, according to the company.
In March, Altair Nanotechnologies and Electro Energy entered into a four-year Joint Development Agreement for the design, manufacture and marketing of high-power lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. (Earlier post.)