The world’s largest battery manufacturer, China’s CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology) has announced a new battery technology that It will start production this year. It’s about the LMFP batteries (lithium manganese iron phosphate), whose energy density is between a 15 to 20 percent higher than that of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries marketed to date. The adition of manganese to the formula does not make a significant difference in the cost of the materials that compose it.
CATL never tires of announcing technological innovations related to the chemistry of its batteries. If recently announced the new Qilin batteries with technology cell to pack 3.0Now it’s the turn of the LMFP batteries. These are lithium ferrophosphate batteries to which manganese is added.
By adding this new component to the already known LFP formula the working voltage of the cells and the energy density are increased without this implying a significant increase in the cost of production since manganese is a particularly cheap material.
CATL LMFP batteries have passed the interim evidence in the first half of this year. The first samples are already being sent to automakers for real-world testing, reports CNEVPost. In addition to CATL, Sunwoda, Eve Energy and FinDreams Battery, belonging to BYD, have also worked on this type of battery. Those of the first two are also already in the testing phase with the manufacturers. BYD began purchasing materials in small quantities for its LMFP batteries which are currently in the internal development stage. Gotion High-tech It also revealed a patent related to this same technology in June this year, although for now it has not announced plans for its mass production.
The reason why these companies are devoting investments to this new technology based on LFP batteries is because they are capable of reaching higher energy density than lithium iron phosphate batteries. The theoretical energy density of LMFP batteries can reach a gravimetric density of between 210 and 230Wh/kg and a bulk density of 450-500Wh/litreas indicated PushEV.comwhat it means 15 to 20 percent longer than LFP batterieswithout this implying a significant difference in the cost of materials, according to information published by Late Post.
Considering that when packing the cells, the GCTP (gravimetric cell to pack) ratio is 90% and the VCTP (volumetric cell to pack) ratio is 72%, an LMFP battery without modules, i.e. with CTP technology, could reach densities of 207 Wh/kg and 360 Wh/l.
In 2013, BYD conducted research related to this technology with the intention of starting to develop it. However, in 2016 the project was stopped as preliminary results offered low cycle life and high internal resistance to electrical conductivity.
To solve this drawback of short life cycles and low conductivity, both CATL and the rest of the manufacturers affirm add doping materials to LMFP ternary cells. For now, the most viable improvements in the energy density of the LFP chemistry will be made by adding silicon to the anode or manganese to the cathode.