Nano One Materials has secured a US patent for its NMC cathode powders, which it says offer a proprietary means of making Li-ion batteries more durable, safer and cheaper.
NMC cathodes are typically comprised of lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt. Global battery makers are keen to limit the use of cobalt, which has a dodgy supply chain that sometimes involves child labor and other unsavory practices.
Nano One explains that the trend is to increase the use of nickel and reduce the use of cobalt. “However, this shift to nickel-rich materials compromises stability and safety in the battery, and the air-sensitive materials require special handling. Nano One’s unique powders enable an innovative approach to lowering cost and increasing the durability of NMC powders.”
Nano One says its proprietary manufacturing technologies allow it to carefully control the formation of lithium-ion battery materials, resulting in unique forms and improved electrical properties.
The company has built a pilot plant, and is partnering with global players in the battery supply chain, including Volkswagen, Chinese cathode maker Pulead and French conglomerate Saint-Gobain, to develop its lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium manganese nickel (LMN) cathode technologies.
“This patent is particularly significant as it defines the properties of our high-energy NMC cathode powders, rather than the underlying process to make them,” said Dr. Stephen Campbell, Chief Technology Officer. “These powders have unique physical properties, related to size and nanostructure, that Nano One is exploiting for improved durability, handling, safety and cost. It complements our process patent portfolio and adds substantially to our strategy with recently announced automotive partners to develop a new generation of low-cost and durable high-energy cathodes.”
“Our NMC powders are different because of very fine particles and layered nanostructures, said Director Dr. Joseph Guy. “It gives Nano One a sustainable means of differentiating its NMC cathode powder for improved performance and cost.”
Source: Nano One