Competitive Technologies to Lithium Batteries

Competitive Technologies to Lithium Batteries

Right now, it seems like lithium-powered batteries are the future, and that’s most noticeable in the fact that they are used to power electric cars. It is true that these batteries are more efficient and that there’s a growing demand for them, but there are competitors as well.

When lithium-based technology showed up, it cleaned the industry whole and put all other types of batteries on the second tier. Some say that this can happen again, and something can replace lithium batteries. It may be one of these technologies.

Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP)

This isn’t exactly a new technology but one that’s an innovation of the existing lithium-ion battery. It has been developed simultaneously, but it hasn’t taken off in the way the lithium-ion ones have. It’s a durable and safe technology, and with some improvement, it can take off.

The main goal should be to raise the energy density to make it comparable to that of the existing batteries, and some innovative work on that front has recently paid off. This new cathode and a silicon-carbon anode demonstrate approximately 200Wh/kg at the cell level. This is much higher than in the past. However, it still does not compete with NMC811/NCA at 300Wh/kg at the cell level.

Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO)

This is another technology that improves on the Samsung 25r battery already in use based on lithium. It was created a long time ago, but it wasn’t used commercially since other lithium batteries have more power density, which makes them a better option.

Now when LMOs are modified with nickel, which makes 30 percent of the new structure, this has improved as well. It allows for a much higher voltage to be produced. They will also be much less expensive to produce since nickel is easy to find. The price will be as much as 50 percent lower.

Lithium Manganese Rich (LMR)

LMR is a non-spinel manganese-rich technology that can also include nickel in small amounts. It has a great energy density, which makes it a good solution for powering cars and other large equipment for which these batteries can be used.

This technology is not useable on the mass market due to its faults. These are about the shortness of lifecycle and durability of the battery overall. That is to say that it has potential, but it needs improvement.

Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S)

Drones use Lithium-Sulfur batteries
Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay

This technology is commercialized and used in some industries already. It doesn’t have a way to be used for cars at this point. Now, these batteries are used in balloons and drones. It has a higher energy density to the tune of 50 percent of other batteries in this area.

However, there’s no structural integrity, which leads to having a rather short life cycle. There’s a chance that it can be improved in the years to come as others have.

Solid-state technology

Solid-state technology has been on the back burner for a while now. It has started to shift to the mainstream in recent years. The name comes from the fact that electrolyte is not liquid but rather a solid or jell-like, ionically conductive material.

The main advantage of such technology is that it isn’t flammable, making it much safer than any other we mentioned. Again, the problem with this type of battery is that it has a compromise to make between the life cycle and the energy density.

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