History of battery science is filled with short-term travel, explosions — and, at times, issues of redemption. One of these is the issue of lithium-iron-phosphate battery.
LFP, as it is commonly known, (“F” means the Latin name for iron) was found to be the best battery in John Goodenough University of Texas lab. He was (and is, at 99) a well-known battery scientist, a well-known cathode maker – a crystalline form that binds and releases lithium ions as a charged battery and gets used – which led to the first commercial lithium-ion battery in 1991 LFP, which coming a few years later, seemed to have more advantages than ever before. The codode was stable and durable, and would be ideal for driving electric vehicles. And unlike the old cathode of Goodenough, it did not rely on cobalt, precious metal, but rather on a metal frame.
But when Venkat Srinivasan began working on the LFP as a postdoc in the early 2000’s, his advisers urged him to consider alternative designs. “They said, ‘Why are you suffering?’” He recalls. In all of its promises, the LFP did not appear to have a bright future. The government was trying hard to cultivate LFP battery companies along with the new electric car market, pouring money for a reason. But electric cars did not go as fast as we expected, so there was no market for batteries. By this time, LFP was being consumed with new battery recipes that combined cobalt and nickel to carry more energy.
How amazing that 20 years later LFP is everywhere. Thanks Elon Musk. Last year, Tesla CEO announced a major overhaul of the old battery-essential chemistry, in particular, because batteries are now so important that these companies are going. tool delivery equipment are made mainly of nickel and cobalt. Tesla’s partner in doing this is CATL, China’s largest battery maker, where the technology has been around for years and has been quietly operating, and improving until LFP batteries can now run a family. Like most cathode chemistries still in use today, the battery was manufactured in a US or European lab, but its future is in China, which today makes up 90 percent of LFP battery cells, according to Benchmark Minerals. For the US, “LFP is a chance to miss out,” says Srinivasan.
Srinivasan, now director of Argonne National Lab’s Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science, is leading the US government’s work to avoid similar missions. Called Li-Bridge, the program was designed to collapse after the Biden Administration have a goal making 50 percent of new car dealerships. The government says the US is investing heavily in foreign-language battery technology – especially China. Car manufacturers also fear things similar to what is happening today microchip supply problem, forcing them to jockey to stay at the front of the line when new chips come out of the line. “The last thing I want to do is negotiate with Asian countries to make sure they are available,” said Robert Schilp, Ford’s chief electronics maker, warned at a meeting last month. “We have to come here.” If not, it means that US car manufacturers will be able to sell fewer EVs than customers expect.
There are indications that battery manufacturers are heeding their warning. Last month, GM and Posco Chemicals, a Korean cathode materials company, announced plans for the U.S. factory to manufacture cathode weapons. In Europe, where the battery industry is not the most advanced, Volkswagen connected with Belgian company Umicore. In September, Redwood Materials, a company that is probably best known recharge the battery. Now we only need 20 more. ”