## Altair Nanotechnologies Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes Clear Safety Testing Cycle

##### 23 May 2006

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.)

While not as fast charging as Toshiba's nano lithium battery, This may prove to be far more rugged and durable than the competition. This maybe a battery technology for the hybrid vehicles would catapault them into the mainstream. With shorter recharge times, and duraility, the military would look into this product too. Plugins and electrical backups would benefit too.

To be sure, the biggest advantage of having ultra-rapid charge capability is the ability to recapture far more power on regenerative braking. Currently, the slow charge times on batteries limits the maximum amount of power that can be recaptured under braking. A battery that can accept an extreme high rate of charge could likely recapture nearly 100% during even heavy braking.

I read somewhere that the Toshiba quick-charge cells use the same technology licensed from Altair. Is this true?

Okay, good news. Now, what is the plan? They have the best tested battery, but maybe the most expensive? Hybrid buses? Military use?
EV cars? no.
EV scooters? maybe.

These charge times make EVs more interesting. With 1-2 min charge time, no more than 100-150 miles range in required for EVs, at least for the first adoptors. (I assume gas stations would build electrical outlets.

Without having actual numbers, I would guess that the gas engine and auxiliary hybrid equipment in a Prius-size car weighs 100-200 kg (200-400 lbs (not accurate)). To scrap this weight and replace it with batteries and a larger electrical motor would probably go a long way.

It would be interesting to see data on this and how much range and power (and torque) would be available.

-Thomas

Chill, t&T, unless you have a spare $50K for scoot bats. We are talking defense spending here. Channeling Senator Dirksen ABAT is apparently marketing a new nano-lithium (NLi) battery (ABAT's Polymer-Li (PLi) battery upgraded with Altair's Lithium Titanate Spinel electrodes). This new quick charge ABAT-NLi battery is claimed to being developed to 350 Wh/Kg with an increased duty cycle (from 1 000 to 20 000 charges). Mass production will be in China, as the PLi model. First NLi units being tested on electric-bikes and other electric vehicles. Price could be about or below$500/KWh.

If ABAT (an others) can do it, it would be a terrific boast to PHEVs and EVs performance.

Hybrid vehicles? How about use them with a full electric car like the Tesla.

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