eLNO Battery Material Announced: Claimed Improvement Over NMC 811 & NCA

JUL 26 2018 BY MARK KANE 20

British chemical company Johnson Matthey promises high-energy, low-cost eLNO battery material, better than NMC 622, NMC 811 and even Tesla/Panasonic’s NCA materials.

The eLNO (lithium nickel oxide) seems to be a nickel-rich and cobalt-free cathode that, according to press release, improves energy density, and lowers costs, while at the same time maintaining other factors like recharging, power output or safety.

After positive feedback from customers during testing, Johnson Matthey is building a demonstration-scale plant in Clitheroe, UK. The facility will provide 1,000 tonnes per year (sample quantities) for battery manufacturers around the world.

The second step is the full-scale production facility in mainland Europe that from 2021/2022 would be able to supply 10,000 tons per year. That’s still not much – maybe 100,000 long-range electric cars, but it’s positive news to see new concepts for battery materials on the horizon.

Alan Nelson, Sector Chief Executive, New Markets and Group Chief Technology Officer, Johnson Matthey said in December 2017 during JM New Markets Sector Conference Call:

“… we benchmarked [eLNO] against NMC 811, 622 and, of course, NCA. The key differentiator for eLNO is that we’re able to have higher energy density at lower cost. So, if you think of that important ratio of dollars per kilowatt hour, we have the lowest total cost, dollars-per-kilowatt basis than of any of the other materials. But more importantly, we’re able to do that without sacrificing any of the other attributes.

So, we’re equal to or better than the performance across, again, 622 or 811. That’s the key differentiator here, is that we’re able to offer better performance at a lower cost while not sacrificing recharge, while we’re not sacrificing power, we’re not sacrificing safety. And that’s the key element that’s there. So, we’re able to maintain performance across all of the key performance factors.”

Does that mean more range at a lower price is coming?

Johnson Matthey eLNO battery material

Source: Johnson Matthey via Green Car Congress

Categories: Battery Tech


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20 Comments on "eLNO Battery Material Announced: Claimed Improvement Over NMC 811 & NCA"

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Interesting to see that the battery future is open when it comes to which technology to use.

Well, this is pretty much the logical evolution of NCA and NMC cathodes with ever increasing nickel contents — though further down the road, there is also hope for more radical new cathode materials, such as LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4 or LiCoPO4 (though the latter would bring back dependence on cobalt…), or even sulphur, or yet further out oxygen (“air”). And that’s just for Li-Ion variations…

I’m not following that bottom chart. Cost per kWh per cycle? So it could have twice the upfront cost and cycle three times as long and come out ahead? I don’t think that’s a metric you optimize for electric cars. Maybe stationary storage?

Yes, a dubious chart. Notice no LiFePO4 or LTO (ultra-long life). It’s also indexed so you can’t cross-check to make sure they’re being honest about the competition.

If they start making a kiloton/year we should see specs, or at least estimates.

Solid state batteries are touted to be better than any current battery design. How does this chemistry compare to solid state?

My understanding is that solid state charge / discharge too slowly for automotive use, but would be good at stationary s storage.

Currently existing solid state cells suffer from low power density; but future designs are expected to overcome this, and along with cost and other improvements, at some point become viable for automotive use…

This is about the cathode material. A battery using solid state electrolyte still needs a cathode material. So this doesn’t really “compare” to solid state at all — they are mostly orthogonal.

(Not entirely orthogonal: AIUI, the ability to use more aggressive electrode materials such as this one, hinges on advanced electrolytes — with solid state electrolyte being one possible path, though not the only one.)

Note that when Tesla/Panasonic claim they can get rid of Cobalt entirely two generations from now, this is probably the kind of cathode material they are looking at.

Wait for solid state to hit phones first. How many people would pay $30 extra for a superbattery that lasted 50-100% longer than current state of the art (i.e. about 20 Wh capacity)? I’d guess 100 million at a minimum, possibly 1 billion. So even at a $1000/kWh or more, there’s a multi-billion dollar market for a solid state super battery.

That’s when we’ll be able to really understand real-wold properties, and then we can start dreaming about a 10x cost reduction for EVs. At the moment, solid state batteries kind of suck. TDK makes tiny ones for circuits (CeraCharge), but they have terrible properties (cost, density, lifetime, etc are all poor, but it’s better than nothing). Solid Energy is making semi-solid state batteries with fantastic energy density, but they have poor cycle life (~200 cycles). Still, that’s great for commercial drones if long run time is more important than running cost.

My prediction is solid state batteries won’t be cost competitive with liquid-electrolyte batteries (which continue to improve) in the mainstream EV sector for at least 10 years, and maybe never.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Oh eLNO, not another breakthrough?!?!?!?!?!?

see what I did there………LMAO

Why the down votes? I chuckled, but then again I’m a sucker for #dadjokes

It’s not really funny; and it joins a long list of dismissive comments on reports of battery improvements.

Totally agree. If people aren’t interested in research, they should just read their drag race stories and let people interested have the comment section here to themselves.

Research takes time, those cells won’t be out tomorrow, we get it. But if people would discard everything we can’t put in a product tomorrow, we would still be in the middle ages.

Él no, but tú, tampoco.

No numbers on specific energy or energy density, no numbers on cycle life or temperature limits. Sounds like cheer leaders, not engineers. But maybe. Tesla would be all over it if it really is an advancement. Tesla and everyone else in the EV space. And other markets.

Specific numbers would be problematic, since it’s just one component of the battery, and a lot depends on various other aspects. The general properties of this chemistry are reasonably well known among battery makers I believe. They are not selling a finished product here; but rather inviting battery makers to do further development based in this material, that they will likely want to use in future cells. (And yes, it’s quite possible that Tesla/Panasonic are among the early customers who gave positive feedback…)

They have reference cells of some type. They have cost and cycle life numbers needed to make the indexed chart. They have some power and energy density numbers to back their other claims. Some of these numbers may come from their customers, though, so they may not be at liberty to share them.

Cost/kWh would be nice too.

Wait, what is the cost per kwh? I see they did cost per kwh per cycle life but not actual upfront cost.

For example, their batteries may have 5000 cycle life but cost 2X more upfront. This is still great for energy storage which sees large cycling, but for cars if you have say 400 mile range car with 1000 cycle life, that is 400,000 miles which is more than enough.

Also, didn’t Tesla manage to double their cycle life with recent advancements? Is that factored in?

I feel like I already made this comment above.