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VSPC boosts energy density of LFP cells up to 25% by incorporating manganese; LMFP

Lithium Australia subsidiary VSPC reports significant progress towards improving the energy density of LFP (lithium ferro phosphate) Li-ion battery cells by adjusting its proprietary manufacturing processes to incorporate manganese into the cathode active material during production. The addition of manganese to LFP (producing LMFP) improves LFP energy density while retaining its superior attributes.

VSPC has successfully produced LMFP battery cells for testing. These cells, by virtue of their higher voltage, provide up to 25% greater energy density than that of standard LFP cells.

Vspc

The discharge curves for cells manufactured from VSPC-produced LFP (left) and VSPC-produced LMFP (right).


Globally, major LFP cell producers are striving to achieve similar increases in energy density by introducing manganese as a component of their cathode powder.

LIBs can be divided into a number of categories based on the crystal structure of the cathode materials they contain. Currently, the types of LIBs most commonly used in EVs are nickel-cobalt manganese (NCM) and nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA). Both NCM and NCA have a spinel (oxide) structure characterized by relatively low-strength chemical bonds.

LFP and LMFP, on the other hand, are composed of phosphates (olivine-like crystal structures) with exceptionally high bond strengths. It is this fundamental physical property that results in the superior characteristics (including thermal stability and long service life) of LFP- and LMFP-type LIBs.

VSPC earlier this year announced plans to develop a rapid-charge battery for transportation applications. The recent success in testing LMFP cells demonstrates the potential for VSPC’s patented manufacturing process to synthesize LMFP for these applications, the company said. Due to its higher energy density, LMFP should reduce the range anxiety associated with standard LFP formulations designed for EVs.

Being able to produce high-performance LIBs without the requirement for nickel or cobalt has many advantages, safety being paramount. Beyond that, the use of common bulk commodities such as manganese, iron and phosphorus reduces costs.

VSPC’s active program to reduce costs even further includes its evaluation of industrial waste materials as feed, as well as the production of cathode-material precursors derived from spent LIBs.

Commercialisation of LMFP for the production of LIBs would eliminate the requirement for materials from regions in which human rights abuse (including the use of child labor) is rife.

Moreover, using materials derived from industrial waste materials and spent batteries to create precursors for new LFP- or LMFP-type LIBs can enhance sustainability and reduce supply chain risk, the company suggested.

Lithium Australia aims to ensure an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry (enhancing energy security in the process) by creating a circular battery economy. The recycling of old lithium-ion batteries to new is intrinsic to this plan.

While rationalizing its portfolio of lithium projects/alliances, the company continues with R&D on its proprietary extraction processes for the conversion of all lithium silicates (including mine waste), and of unused fines from spodumene processing, to lithium chemicals. From those chemicals, Lithium Australia plans to produce advanced components for the battery industry globally, and for stationary energy storage systems within Australia.

By uniting resources and innovation, the Company seeks to vertically integrate lithium extraction, processing and recycling.

Comments

GasperG

Nice to see Avancements in LFP, but there is no cycle life data, and that graph shows big voltage drop in the middle of SOC (from 4V to 3.5V). What does that mean when you have more cells in the battery pack? Does this complicate BMS or is this maybe a complete deal breaker? Anyone knows this?

SJC_1

Good news, no cobalt.
LFP have a flat voltage on discharge, this could be a tradeoff.

gryf

LFMP can operate at higher voltage than other Lithium Ion batteries. However, this does present some problems, e.g.cycle life. Otherwise they are similar to LFP batteries at 3.2 volts (you can buy an LFMP battery today at Alibaba or an Elite Power distributor - they use Zhejiang GBS Energy Co., Ltd batteries. GBS batteries do not have high energy density(100 Wh/kg), though have 2000 - 3000 cycle life (https://gbsbattery.en.made-in-china.com/product/AysmlpTbYYVk/China-Gbs-Lfmp-Cell-200ah.html).
The Tesla Model 3 MIC (Made in China) has CATL LFP batteries and are selling well. CATL batteries have higher energy density and with Cell-to-Pack battery packs they approach the NCMA battery density of the Tesla Model 3 USA. They also charge faster and are safer (check this post:https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/01/tesla-model-3-with-new-lfp-battery-now-supercharges-even-faster/).
Gotion aka Guoxan High Tech has announced that they will have 260 Wh/kg LFP batteries next year (current LFP batteries have 200 Wh/kg energy density). Gotion is a VW partner (VW owns 26% of the company) and their US headquarters is in Fremont, CA (also the home of the Tesla factory). On Tesla Battery Day, one slide depicted the "Diversified Cathode Approach" that Tesla will pursue, Iron Based (low end vehicles), Nickel Manganese (Cobalt free) for the mid range, High Nickel for the top end.

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