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
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
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