Electric vehicles lithium-cobalt batteries
Electric vehicles are powered with batteries and it is an important component in any electric vehicle to function. Here in this article, we will discuss electric vehicles lithium-cobalt batteries. The lithium-cobalt batteries have three major components such as Cathode, Electrolyte and anode.
A battery is a device that consists of one or more electrochemical cells with external connections provided to power electrical devices like EV. It is used to power the propulsion system of battery electric vehicles.
Different variety of energy storage options are available today such as pimped hydro, compressed air, capacitors, flywheels and rechargeable batteries.
The lithium-ion batteries got popularity in the 1990s. They will have a basic mechanism that charged li-ion is shuttled back and forth between the cathode and the anode during discharge or when we charge it. These batteries can be separated into two groups such as Lithium iron phosphate and metal oxides.
In India, the lithium-ion batteries market is expected to grow significantly in the next five years. The annual lithium-ion battery market in India to increase from 2.9 GWh in 2018 to reach 132 GWh in 2030 at a CAGR of 37.5%.
As lithium-ion batteries consumption increases there will be also increased in the spent batteries. If it is ignored, it can become a health and environmental hazard. It is not the only risk to our health but we may also miss out on some precious metals from the spent batteries.
The recycling of the metals and other natural resources from a spent battery through mechanical and metallurgical processes is the best option to make use of those spent batteries. The extracted content can be re-used to manufacture more batteries. The Indian government has set up a goal to achieve electric mobility but the high price of EVs is becoming a hindrance. 40-50% of the cost of EVs is because of the batteries.
The positively charged electrode made of lithium metal oxide combinations of cobalt, nickel, manganese, iron and aluminium.
A Lithium salt in liquid or gel form that provides conduction for the flow of irons.
The negatively charged electrode, usually made of graphite.
When a battery is charged, ions flow via the electrolyte from the cathode to the anode where they are stored. During usage, ions flow from the anode to the cathode and electrons are passed through an external circuit, powering the electric vehicles.
The composition of the cathode largely determines battery performance for EV batteries, cobalt plays a crucial role in the cathode.
The lithium-cobalt combination from all the possible lithium battery compositions, EV manufacturers prefer lithium-cobalt combinations.
There are 5 types of lithium battery combinations for EVs
- Lithium nickel cobalt aluminium
- Lithium nickel manganese cobalt
- Lithium mangenese oxide
- Lithium titanate
- Lithium iron phosphate
There are many types of batteries used in electric vehicles such as
- Lead-acid batteries
- Lithium-Ion batteries
- Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries
- Lithium ferrous phosphate (LiFePO4)
Cobalt will have these properties
- High energy density
- Thermal stability
- High specific power
- Low self-discharge rate
- Low weight
The cobalt’s high energy density allows batteries to pack more energy in smaller spaces, making them lightweight and powerful at the same time. Cobalt increases the longevity of batteries and remains highly recyclable.
- Cobalt is a byproduct of nickel and copper mining, not easily available.
- It is expensive at US$33,000/tonne more than twice the price of nickel.
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