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Infographic: The Cathode is the Key to Advancing Lithium-ion Technology
What are cathodes? This infographic offers a look at cathodes and their importance in advancing lithium-ion technology.
-ion batteries are essential to modern
, powering smartphones, laptops,
and even electric vehicles. But these batteries are almost infinitely more complex than their predecessors, such as the
That is because “lithium ion” refers to a mechanism, the transfer of lithium ions. This mechanism can occur in a variety of cathode, anode and electrolyte environments, and for that reason there can be many different types of lithium-ion batteries .
All materials in a battery possess a theoretical specific energy , and the key to high capacity and superior power delivery lies primarily in the cathode. For the last 10 years or so, the cathode has characterized the lithium-ion battery, according to the Battery University .
Common cathode materials are lithium cobalt oxide (or lithium cobaltate), lithium manganese oxide (also known as spinel or lithium manganate), lithium iron phosphate , as well as lithium nickel manganese cobalt (or NMC) and lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (or NCA).
Cathode choice is a major factor for determining battery energy density, and cathodes typically account for 25 percent of lithium-ion battery costs. That means the cathode can impact both the performance and cost pieces of the dollar per kWh equation — and building a better cathode will likely be a key driver for the success of the green revolution.
Companies such as Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) are constantly looking to lower the cost of lithium-ion batteries, as they are one of the most expensive components of electric vehicles. Cheaper battery packs could make electric vehicles competitive with traditional gas -powered vehicles — and if that happens, it will be a game-changer for the auto industry.
New technologies are now being applied to develop cost-effective lithium-ion batteries, and many experts believe that it won’t be long before batteries will hit $80 per kWh.
The following Visual Capitalist infographic will help investors learn more about cathodes and how they are key to advancing lithium-ion technology:
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