Inspenet, December 28, 2023.
Weeks ago, Toshiba announced the development of a lithium battery that lacks cobalt , making it more affordable and environmentally friendly, opening the possibility of innovations in current technology.
Featuring an anode composed of niobium titanium oxide (NTO), this battery not only eliminates cobalt, but also exhibits remarkable thermal stability and the ability for ultra-fast recharges.
New lithium battery put to the test
During tests carried out by the Japanese manufacturer, it was possible to charge a battery up to 80% in just 5 minutes . Toshiba evaluated this new technology using a prototype 1.5 Ah pouch battery and tests revealed an elevated voltage of 3 V or more, maintaining more than 80% of its original capacity after 6,000 cycles, even at temperatures of 60° c.
According to Yasuhiro Harada, the principal investigator of the Nanomaterials Research Laboratory of the Toshiba Research and Development Center, commented: “To implement this technology in motor vehicles, capacities of 50 Ah or 100 Ah are required, and capacity needs to be increased to achieve this goal. To develop a larger battery, rigorous verification processes still need to be carried out and we believe we should start from areas with lower technical barriers before tackling automotive applications with more challenging technical barriers.“.
It is estimated that this alternative is still in an evolutionary phase and requires more development before reaching a level of maturity sufficient for its implementation in electric vehicles. Toshiba projects that it could be available on the market for sale in 2028.
It is important to mention that a new direction is being explored for current lithium batteries, observing the development of alternatives that dispense with materials such as cobalt, which is commonly used in the composition of cathode materials. The demand for cobalt has experienced a notable increase in recent years, with significant environmental and humanitarian consequences in the countries where it is extracted. Although many unknowns remain, such as energy and volumetric density, as well as economic viability compared to batteries containing cobalt.
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