New Lithium Battery Design Doesn’t Need Cobalt or Nickel
Mike Sanders / 11 months ago
For around 10-years now, the vast majority of battery designs have now transitioned onto a Lithium-Ion base. There is, of course, a good reason for that. Largely being that the technology has allowed for battery lifespans to increase massively compared to the prior technology. It isn’t, however, perfect.
The utilization of nickel and cobalt within the current design has a number of flaws. Firstly, they’re pretty expensive resources. Secondly, the mining of them is causing huge environmental and ethical problems. Why ethical? Well, child labour plays a factor in cobalt mining.
In a report via MachineDesign, however, a new lithium battery concept has been revealed that requires the use of neither resource. Something that could play a huge factor in reducing production costs.
New Lithium Battery Design Revealed
The latest design revealed by Georgia Tech researchers utilizes a new type of cathode from iron fluoride and a solid polymer electrolyte nanocomposite. Long words I know, but by doing this they have been able to replace the nickel and cobalt components with those that are, comparatively speaking massively less expensive. We’re talking between 1/150th-1/300th of the price!
What Do We Think?
The main question is whether this new type of battery can outperform the existing technology. While the price is always going to be a huge driving factor for manufacturers (and especially those who purchase lithium-ion batteries for their products) performance is also a key aspect as well.
Fortunately, it seems that the new design may not only match the existing technology, but it may actually outperform it.
From a consumer standpoint, we can only hope that this leads to less expensive product prices in the future. That, however, is a fair way away at the moment and, perhaps, more than a little optimistic.
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!