Can lithium titanate extend cycle times for Li-ion batteries?

February 18, 2016 // By Paul Buckley
Research by University of Eastern Finland scientists has opened up new electricity storage applications by developing Li-ion batteries making use of lithium titanate (LTO) to solve electric conductivity problems.

A number of novel materials are being developed for next generation Li-ion batteries. A promising anode-cathode material pair is lithium titanate countered by lithium iron phosphate. The raw materials for these components are readily available; and are safe to use, and easy to dispose of or recycle.  Batteries manufactured using these materials have longer cycle and calendar lifetimes compared to the current battery technology. However, the main problem of using the materials is their low electric conductivity.

"The electric conductivity problem can be solved by producing nanosized, high surface area crystalline materials, or by modifying the material composition with highly conductive dopants. We have succeeded in doing both for lithium titanate (LTO) in a simple, one-step gas phase process developed here at the UEF Fine Particle and Aerosol Technology Laboratory," explained Researcher Tommi Karhunen.

"The electrochemical performance of Li-ion batteries made out of the above mentioned material is very promising. The electrochemical properties were studied in collaboration with Professor Ulla Lassi's group from Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius. The most important applications lie in batteries featuring, for example, fast charging required for electric buses, or high power needed for hybrid and electric vehicles," said Professor Jorma Jokiniemi, Director of the Fine Particle and Aerosol Technology Laboratory.

Reference

Karhunen T, Välikangas J, Torvela T, Lähde A, Lassi U, Jokiniemi J. Effect of doping and crystallite size on the electrochemical performance of Li4Ti5O12. Journal of Alloys and Compounds (2016) 659:1342. DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2015.10.125

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