Category and Characteristic of Li-ion batteries

In the industry of Li-ion batteries, rechargeable lithium iron batteries ((hereinafter referred to as "Li batteries") are mainly divided into the following categories according to the different cathode materials: LiCoO2 lithium cobalt oxide (LCO); LiFePO4 lithium iron phosphate (LFP) ; LiMn2O4 Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO); LiNixCoyMn(1 -xy)O2 Nickel Cobalt Manganese/ LiNixCoyAl(1-xy)O2 Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Ternary Lithium (NCM/NCA).

1. LCO battery: Lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) as the cathode material of Li batteries has been rapidly commercialized and widely used in various portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, MP3/MP4, notebook computers, Bluetooth devices, tablet computers, and power tools etc.

2. LFP Battery: LFP with olivine structure is more stable than other cathode materials. In 2004, LFP material first input in China. Due to its unique thermal stability and safety, it is especially suitable for electronic vehicles. Has been vigorously promoted and applied by BYD, and has been followed up by Guoxuan Hi-Tech, Lishen and CATL etc.

3. LMO Battery: As with characteristics of low cost, thermal stability, great over-charge performance and over operation voltage, become the hotpots of Li batteries research.

4. NCM/NCA Battery: Combines the advantages of cycle performance of LCO, high capacity of LNO, low cost and safety performance of LMO. At the beginning of this century, as the demand of high-energy density and long-life batteries, NCM and NCA batteries have been widely used in commercial applications. Especially for electronic vehicles pursuing long lfie, NCM/NCA Li batteries have been widely popularized. Tesla uses Panasonic’s NCA batteries, and BMW, Volkswagen and other companies use Samsung and LG’s NCM. For ternary lithium batteries, domestic companies generally follow the NCM ternary lithium route.

Comparison among LMO, LFP and NCM/NCA Among 4 main materials of Li batteries, LCO with highest metallic content and cobalt as a rare metal with concentrated production areas and expensive, so the cost of LCO Battery is also the highest, and only suitable for It is a small battery to meet the needs of portable electronic devices, but it is not suitable for larger batteries to be used in the power and energy storage applications. LMO, NCM, LAP have large-scale applications in huge power (four-wheel vehicles) and small power (two-wheeler/three-wheeler). We can grasp their future development trend from serious analyzing.

(1) The outstanding advantages of LMO materials are safety and low cost. LTO does not contain metal cobalt, so the material cost is lower, it’s very helpful to promote the LTO batteries. Secondly, LTO with great performance in thermal management, is not easy to decompose and thermally runaway at high temperature, and has awesome safety performance, which is especially suitable for the power system with high safety requirements. The main disadvantages of LTO batteries is poor high-temperature performance, short life cycle, and the dissolution of the anode material at high temperatures, which leads to a rapid decline in battery capacity and life cycle. Corresponding to this, the low temperature performance of LTO is great, it can keep in good activity at minus 30 ℃, and can be used for charging and discharging. Therefore, LTO batteries are not suitable for the southern regions with higher temperatures, but more suitable for the northern regions with low long-term temperatures and cold winters. In addition, the rate performance of LTO is very suitable for fast charging products. Of course, the heat dissipation problem must be solved, otherwise the cycle life decays too fast, which will lead to the faster the charging speed and shorten the life.

(2) NCM/NCA Battery: The outstanding advantage of ternary lithium material is its high energy density. With 3 kinds of materials, the specific energy density of ternary lithium is the highest. For example, the NCM battery of 811 material has a single energy density of 300Wh/kg, which is almost twice LTO and LFP. Therefore, NCM battery is particularly suitable for small and light application scenarios, which can obtain the most energy storage and the longest driving mileage, such as pure EV and electric motorcycles. The low-temperature characteristics of NCM are similar to those of LMO, and it can also maintain good activity at low temperatures, and its high-temperature performance is significantly better than LTO. It works at high temperatures and its cycle life will not rapidly decline. Therefore, the operating temperature range NCM is wdier, which can meet various climate conditions in the south and north. The obviously shortcomings of NCM are high cost and poor safety. Because the prices of cobalt, nickel, and aluminum are relatively high, the price of NCM always stay in high, which is not good for promotion in the civilian market. Moreover, NCM with poor stability at high temperatures, and will easily decompose and release oxygen when exposed to heat, causing thermal runaway of the battery, burning or explosion. With higher nickel content of the NCM, the higher energy density, but the lower the safety, so there with great contradictory between high energy density and safety for NCM batteries. Due to the consideration of cost and safety, the application of NCM battery with limited used.

(3) LFP Battery: LFP battery with outstanding advantage in lower cost, long life cycle and high safety.Thanks to the excellent thermal stability and structural stability, the safety LFP batteries is significantly better than NCM batteries. Because of with sufficient supplement, the price of LFP is the cheapest among various cathode materials. Refer to cycle life, LFP also has obvious advantages, with a cycle life of 6000 to 8000 cycles, and power type LFP batteries can also reach 3000 cycles. Up and down, this point is incomparable from LMO and NCM.

PLB is focus on R&D and manufacturing of 26650 LFP Batteries, with significant technical and performance advantages such as high safety, high consistency, long cycle, and very great cost performance ratio, is widely used by first-class international and domestic clients.

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