Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory masthead A-Z Index Berkeley Lab masthead U.S. Department of Energy logo Phone Book Jobs Search
Tech Transfer
Licensing Interest Form Receive Customized Tech Alerts

Lower Cost Lithium Ion Batteries from Aluminum Substituted Cathode Materials

IB-2581

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • Consumer batteries
  • Battery and materials manufacturing

ADVANTAGES:

  • Significantly lower battery cost
  • Produces power and energy density required for plug-in hybrid vehicles
  • Potential for overcharge protection

DESCRIPTION:

Although lithium ion batteries are the most promising candidates for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the use of cobalt (Co) in cathode materials yields a high battery cost. Mixed transition metal oxides have been considered to replace the standard LiCoO2 cathode materials, but these variations have negative impacts on performance.

Marca M. Doeff and James D. Wilcox of Berkeley Lab have developed a mixed transition metal oxide formulation using aluminum (Al) that allows the amount of Co to be reduced by more than one-half, compared to the standard Li[Ni1/3Co1/3Mn1/3]O2 formulation, and still achieve the power and energy density required for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Berkeley Lab formulation yields up to three times the rate capability of variations without Al.

This invention also includes a process of manufacturing a layered oxide material with greater homogeneity than typically created, which contributes to its improved performance. A decrease in lithium ion mobility would be expected for layered oxides containing Al, because Al ions act like traps. However, the Al substitution creates a physical change in the layering of the structure that, to a large extent, appears to counter the expected trapping effect and allow better Li ion diffusion.

In addition, because Al is not electroactive, its addition prohibits the removal of all the lithium at the top of charge. This could potentially provide overcharge protection for large battery systems.

STATUS:

  • Published Patent Application PCT/US2009/058073 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

To learn more about licensing a technology from LBNL see http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/licensing/index.html.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

J. D. Wilcox, M. M. Doeff,S. Patoux, "Structure and Electrochemistry of LiNi1/3Co1/3−yMyMn1/3O2 (M = Ti, Al, Fe) Positive Electrode Materials," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 156 (3) A192-A198 (2009).

J. D. Wilcox, M. M. Doeff, “Characterization and Electrochemical Performance of Substituted LiNi0.4Co0.2-yAlyMn0.4O2 (0<y<0.2) Cathode Materials,” ECS Transactions, 11 (29) 22-33 (2008).

REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2581

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

See More Energy Technologies
Last updated: 06/05/2012