Dow’s new battery material offers 10-15% more energy density

The new material could serve as a “drop-in” upgrade for existing iron phosphate-based materials in cells using existing electrolyte and anode combinations.

 

While researchers around the world are making steady progress in many EV-related fields, the area that is the most critical (the Holy Grail, if you aren’t sick of that term yet) can be summed up in two words: energy density. At Dow Energy Materials (DEM), a business unit of Dow Chemical, the focus is on improving energy density by improving the basic chemistry of battery materials. DEM has developed a new material, Lithium Manganese Iron Phosphate (LMFP), which offers energy density in the 150+ Wh/g range, an increase of 10-15% over iron phosphate (LFP) material.

DEM’s David Klanecky: “One of [our] key focuses is how we can double the energy density from what there is today. Our strategy is to focus on the combination of anode, cathode and electrolyte – all have to work together. There definitely has to be the breakthrough, the continual development of material to really drive down the cost. Scale is a factor [for cost reduction] but not as big as the general improvement in materials themselves.”

The new material could serve as a “drop-in” upgrade for existing iron phosphate-based materials in cells using existing electrolyte and anode combinations. “The key value proposition [of LMFP] is the energy density improvement that cell manufacturers can take advantage of over incumbent LFP material. Especially in Asia-Pacific, there is a lot of [LFP] cell manufacturing capacity. The LMFP can be looked at as a drop-in for improvements for current iron phosphate systems today, with not a lot of special processing or new separator,” said Klanecky.
 
 
According to Klanecky, the LMFP material operates with a broader voltage range than conventional iron phosphate materials. DEM has tested the LMFP materials with several customers, and is now scaling up production. So far, feedback from cell manufacturers has confirmed the performance results that DEM found in its laboratory.