Outperforming global benchmarks in reducing the cost of lithium batteries.
Lithium ion batteries have two electrodes, the anode and the cathode, that transmit lithium ions through an electrolyte. Cathode powders have great potential to change battery performance and also account for a quarter of the cost of a typical battery cell. For batteries the challenge will be reducing the cost of raw materials and processing, while boosting capacity, charge and cycling.
Nano One Materials Corp. (TSXV: NNO) is a Canadian technology company with a scalable industrial process for producing low cost high performance battery materials. Some of the more promising cathode materials being developed in labs are using processes with 50 to 100 steps and production cycles of 4 to 7 days. Nano One’s technology can use lower grade raw materials and complete a production cycle in less than a day using a three stage process with up to 75% fewer steps. Nano One believes that cost-effective production of nano-structured cathode materials can address pent-up global demand for better batteries by reducing costs by up to 50% ($/kWh); delivering robustly structured cathode materials that last 2-3 times longer, store more energy, and deliver more power. For electric vehicles this could translate into fewer battery cells, less weight, less cost, extended range, longer lifetime, or better warranties. For consumer electronics this could mean greater storage, faster charging or more power.
On September 20, 2018, Dan Blondal, CEO of Nano One announced that their Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) cathode material, and the cost of making it, are outperforming global benchmarks and could be a disruptive force in the lithium/iron battery space.
CEO Blondal stated: “Major cathode producers have begun evaluating our LFP and initial results are consistent with the excellent battery performance we’ve been measuring in our lab. The preliminary economic modeling is also very compelling with LFP production costs conservatively estimated at 10 to 30% below industry standards.”
By 2025 the global LFP market size is projected to be 130,000 tonnes and worth about $1.5 billion. To address this opportunity Nano One has developed a proprietary process, using lithium carbonate, which enables lower cost sources of iron and phosphate than those used presently by other LFP producers. Economic modeling of this innovative process delivers capital and operating projections well below current industry costs. This leads to a sizable revenue opportunity that Nano One is evaluating with commercial interests in the lithium ion battery and cathode material space.
LFP is the cobalt-free, high durability, low cost, and safest cathode material of choice for lithium ion batteries. It is used in e-buses, e-bikes, power tools and grid storage systems for renewable energy. As costs come down, LFP may also replace lead acid batteries, further increasing demand.
Nano One Chairman, Paul Matysek added: “There is a compelling business case with our LFP technology, it is ripe for partnership on full scale production, and this adds to other opportunities Nano One is pursuing to jointly develop solid state batteries and low-cobalt chemistry.”
Nano One envisions a world where the remarkable properties of nano-materials are no longer impeded by raw material and production costs. The Company’s vision is to establish its patented technology as a leading platform for the global production of a new generation of nano-structured composite materials.
The world is heading into a new evolution in all things electric powered by batteries. E-cars, e-bikes, e-buses e-trains maybe one day even e-planes. Nano One has the technology to lower size and cost of the most important part of this evolution, the battery. One to watch.