Guide to Batteries in Product Design. Batteries and its types

LFP lithium batteries: the right choice for material-handling equipment

Today’s market for industrial batteries has grown dramatically through innovation and the adoption of new technologies, such as multiple types of new-generation lithium batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and new variations of the older lead-acid batteries. It is increasingly hard to make the right choice, given the variety of equipment types, makes, and models designed for a specific application and a specific work environment and operation pace.

The OneCharge engineering team zeroed in on lithium LFP cells as the best choice for industrial lithium batteries powering material-handling equipment and off-highway EVs (Class I, II, and III electric lift trucks; tugs; personnel and burden carriers; sweepers; scrubbers; and aerial platforms). We use LFP lithium cells in OneCharge batteries, which

  • provide the best equipment performance;
  • satisfy the requirements of high-power, demanding applications;
  • exhibit the longest cycle life of a battery;
  • ensure the top safety level of operation and reduce operation maintenance costs.

Lithium cells are named after the chemical composition of their cathode material

Cells are constructed of several elements, including the cathode, anode, electrolyte, and membrane. (To learn more, see the Lithium cell design page of this website.) The biggest impact on the specs of today’s commercially available batteries is made by the chemistry of their cathode materials. That is why battery cells are named after the chemical composition of the materials used in the cathode of a lithium cell.

There are multiple cathode materials to choose from within the Li-ion technology space. The best-known active component of the cathode is cobalt, widely used in batteries for electronics and EVs. Today, battery manufacturers using cobalt are facing serious supply-chain sustainability issues (like unethical mining practices, including the use of child labor). Cobalt is frequently substituted out with iron (LFP), nickel, manganese, and aluminum.

OneCharge batteries are based on LFP cells, the optimal choice for material-handling applications.

Why LFP is the best choice for material handling operations

As stated above, LFP chemistry is the optimal choice for material handling equipment batteries, and here’s why.

Of all the various types of lithium-ion batteries, three cell chemistry types emerge as widely used in on- and off-highway electric vehicles: lithium ferrophosphate, or lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), and lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA).

All batteries degrade with usage, decreasing their Ah capacity with each charge/discharge cycle. In material handling, batteries usually become unusable when they drop below 80% of their nominal capacity.

A battery’s longevity, or its cycle life, depends on three main factors:

  • chemical composition of cathode materials;
  • ambient temperature of operation;
  • depth of discharge.

The graph below shows the results of recent independent degradation tests of the three types of cells with different chemistry, under equal conditions of temperature and depth of discharge.

One “equivalent full cycle” is the sum of charge/discharge events that add up to one full (zero to 100%) charge and one full (to zero) discharge of a battery.

LFP lithium batteries exhibit superior performance compared to NMC—they offer a longer lifespan and are generally less expensive.

Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) batteries performed similarly to or worse than NMC.

The tests were performed at Sandia National Laboratories as “part of a broader effort to determine and characterize the safety and reliability of commercial Li-ion cells.”

Apart from longer cycle life, LFP wins on safety, with better stability and a higher thermal run-away temperature threshold (roughly 420°F for NMC and 520°F for LFP).

NMC chemistry is higher on specific energy, which means NMC cells have higher energy density than LFP. This is important for electronics and electric vehicles, where battery weight is a decisive factor (the lighter the better). On the other hand, industrial batteries for material handling applications are often engineered as a counter-weight (the heavier the better).

Main characteristics of lithium cell chemistry types

Battery cells are mainly defined by the following:

  • specific energy (how much energy a system contains in comparison to its mass; typically expressed in watt-hours per kilogram, Wh/kg);
  • specific power (the amount of power in a given mass; typically expressed in watts per kilogram, W/kg);
  • cost (influenced by the rarity and cost of raw materials, and by technological complexity);
  • safety (risk factors, like temperature threshold for thermal runaway);
  • lifespan (the number of cycles leading to critically low decrease of capacity, usually 80% in material handling applications);
  • performance (capacity, voltage and resistance).

Here are the three types in detail.

Lithium Ferrophosphate (LFP)

LFP is a popular, cost-effective cathode material for lithium-ion cells that are known to deliver excellent safety and long life span, which makes it particularly well-suited for specialty battery applications requiring high load currents and endurance.

An LFP cathode offers several key advantages, including a high current rating, long cycle life, and superior thermal stability, which makes it one of the safest and most abuse-tolerant cathode material options. LFP delivers a lower nominal voltage, which results in lower specific energy than other cathode materials. LFP batteries tend to have a somewhat higher self-discharge than other Li-ion battery types.

  • Excellent charge and discharge rate capability
  • Superior low-temperature performance
  • Stable resistance
  • Stable voltage drop under life cycle testing in high-temperature environments

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC)

One of the most widely used Li-ion cathodes is obtained by combining nickel, manganese, and cobalt. Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (LiNiMnCoO2), or NMC, has become the go-to cathode material to develop batteries for power tools, e-bikes, and other electric powertrains. It delivers strong overall performance, high specific energy, and a low self-heating rate. This cathode power is used for EV batteries (Tesla? Yes, they are currently using both NMC and NCA, but recently started to switch to LFP).

The NMC formula typically consists of 33% nickel, 33% manganese, and 33% cobalt. This blend, sometimes referred to as 1-1-1, is a popular option for mass-produced cells in applications requiring frequent cycling (automotive, electronics) due to the reduced material cost with a lower cobalt content.

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA)

A lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide, or NCA, battery shares similarities with the NMC by offering high specific energy, reasonably good specific power, and a relatively long life span, making NCA a candidate for EV powertrains. The main downsides are safety and cost, as well as the recent supply chain issues.

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Guide to Batteries in Product Design

Primary and secondary batteries are electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy to electrical energy.

Contents covered in this article

What are batteries?

So, what is a battery? A battery is an electrochemical cell or cells that produce an electric current by converting stored chemical energy to electrical energy.

Because of their ability to store energy, primary and secondary batteries are vital to modern-day electronic products such as mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, laptops, E-scooters, bicycles, and drones. For battery-powered products, one of the critical decisions product designers must make early in the product design process is what type of battery to use for the new electronic product.

There are numerous battery types with various characteristics for new product development. Because each device necessitates a unique battery to meet the power supply requirements, it is critical to understand the product requirements, such as voltage, peak current, operating environment, temperature rating, and life span, when selecting the battery type.

The following sections discuss the battery types, their chemical composition, applications, and the critical parameters for choosing the suitable battery for your next electronic device.

Primary and Secondary batteries

There are two basic types of batteries: primary and secondary. These batteries power most portable consumer electronics products as they have many of the same characteristics and functions.

The image above shows the widely used battery types for both primary and secondary.

What are primary batteries and secondary batteries?

The primary batteries, also known as Disposable batteries, are non-rechargeable; therefore, the user can only use them once. The initial charge of a disposable battery can last significantly longer than a rechargeable battery in most applications. Their design is simple and lighter, and there is no fluid used in these batteries hence called Dry cells such as Zinc-Carbon cells.

However, the secondary batteries are rechargeable and have a longer life span because the user can recharge them multiple times. Their complex design consists of diverse materials for their anode, cathode and electrolytes. Lead-acid, nickel-cadmium (NiCd), and lithium-ion batteries are examples of secondary batteries.

Primary battery Secondary battery
Low initial cost High initial cost
They are comparably smaller and lighter They are complex and heavier
Have high energy density Have a smaller energy density
High internal resistance Low internal resistance
Irreversible chemical reaction Reversible chemical reaction
Simple and easy to use Need special circuits to protect
Slow discharge Faster discharge
Cells don’t have any fluid Cells contain liquid chemicals

Primary Battery

Primary batteries, also known as disposable batteries, are designed for single use as the electrochemical reaction is not reversible. The most common primary battery types are Alkaline, Zinc Carbon, Lithium iron disulfide, Lithium-thionyl chloride, Lithium manganese dioxide, and Lithium-sulfur dioxide. These come in various standard sizes, such as D, C, AA, AAA, AAAA, 9V, and coin cells.

Zinc Carbon Battery

This battery is a primary dry cell battery. It produces current through the electrochemical reaction between the zinc anode and carbon cathode in the existence of an ammonium chloride electrolyte.

Zinc-carbon battery applications: Manufacturers use Zinc-Carbon batteries in Toys, Clocks, TV remotes and Flashlights.

Advantages of Zinc-carbon battery: Inexpensive and reliable

Disadvantages of Zinc-carbon battery: Poor leakage resistance, unsuitable for cold weather, low energy density, voltage drop steadily with discharge.

Zinc-Carbon battery design tips

  • The product designer can use zinc-carbon batteries if budget is the primary concern.
  • They are unsuitable if a large amount of power and sizeable current storage capacity is required.

Alkaline Battery

Alkaline battery, also known as Alkaline-manganese, is an advanced form of Zinc-carbon battery and delivers more energy at higher current loads. The battery produces power from the chemical reaction between Zinc and Manganese dioxide.

Alkaline battery applications: Many household items, including gaming consoles, remote control, CD players, digital cameras, toys, flashlights, and radios, use alkaline batteries.

Advantages of Alkaline Battery: Alkaline batteries have a low self-discharge rate and do not leak electrolytes.

Disadvantages of Alkaline Battery: Their high internal resistance reduces the battery power output.

Alkaline battery design tips

  • When Alkaline batteries discharge, a small amount of hydrogen gas is released, and battery-powered devices must allow for venting.

Lithium iron disulfide (LiFeS 2 )

The chemistry and construction of lithium iron disulfide batteries differ from those of alkaline batteries. They use lithium as an anode, iron disulfide as a cathode, and lithium salt and organic solvent blend as electrolytes. The diagram below shows a cross-section of a typical cylindrical LiFeS 2 battery.

Applications: Lithium Iron batteries are used in electronic devices that require a small, portable power source, such as digital cameras, portable lights and bike lights

  • 30% lighter than typical alkaline batteries
  • -40°C to 60°C temperature range
  • Excellent quality
  • Longevity and durability
  • Have lower resistance than Alkaline and higher capacity.

Disadvantages: Because of the lithium metal content in the anode, the Li-FeS 2 has a higher price and transportation issues.

Design guide :

  • Do not mix battery types from different manufacturers or chemistries
  • The Li-FeS2 includes safety devices such as a positive thermal coefficient (PTC) that limits current at high temperatures and resets when temperatures return to normal.

Lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SoCl 2 )

Lithium thionyl chloride is a primary cell battery. Lithium-thionyl chloride (Li-SOCl 2 ) cells use a metallic lithium positive electrode (anode) and a liquid negative electrode (cathode) consisting of a porous carbon current collector filled with thionyl chloride.

Lithium-thionyl chloride battery applications: Lithium Thionyl Chloride custom size batteries are used in electronic devices that require a small, compact power source, such as clock supports, Smart sensors, system backups, real-time clocks and automotive electronics.

Lithium-thionyl chloride battery advantages

  • High voltage response,
  • Stable across its lifetime
  • Low self-discharge rate
  • Ease of use
  • Wide operating temperature range (-55°C to 70°)
  • Extended storage and operational life (10 years)

Lithium-thionyl chloride battery disadvantages

  • Voltage delay
  • Regardless of the precautions, an uncontrollable heat explosion occurs at high-temperature discharge and explodes.
  • High price
  • Environmental pollution during the manufacture

Lithium manganese dioxide (LiMnO 2 )

Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMnO 2 ) batteries use manganese as the cathode and lithium as the anode. LiMnO2 is available in various shapes, the most common of which are button cells and cylindrical batteries.

Applications: They are widely used in electricity, gas and water meters, fire and smoke alarms and security devices.

  • High Operational Safety (UL certified)
  • High Cell Voltage (3.3V)
  • A wide temperature of operation
  • Low Self Discharge
  • High Energy Density
  • High Reliability
  • Inorganic Electrolyte
  • Non-Pressurized System
  • Solid Cathode

Primary battery comparison

Primary batteryAlkalineLithium iron disulfide (LiFeS2)Lithium-thionyl chloride (LiSOCI2 or LTC)Lithium manganese dioxide (LiMnO2 or Li-M)

Secondary Battery

As discussed in the previous section, secondary batteries are rechargeable and found in products such as mobiles, tablets, laptops, e-scooters and many more portable devices.

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Battery

A lithium-ion battery, also known as a Li-ion battery, is a rechargeable battery made up of cells in which lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode via an electrolyte during discharge and back again during charging.

There are six types of Lithium-ion batteries depending on the active material.

  • Lithium Cobalt Oxide(LiCoO 2 ) — LCO
  • Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn 2 O4) — LMO
  • Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO 2 ) — NMC
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate(LiFePO 4 ) — LFP
  • Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO 2 ) — NCA
  • Lithium Titanate (Li 2 TiO 3 ) — LTO

Lithium-ion cells consist of an intercalated lithium compound positive electrode, graphite negative electrode and electrolyte lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) salt dissolved in an organic solvent. As a result, lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density, no memory effect, and a low self-discharge rate.

Lithium Ion battery applications

  • Power tools
  • Electric vehicles
  • Laptop computers
  • Tablets and smartphones
  • Small digital cameras

Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries can be found in every iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, MacBook, and Airpods. Apple uses Lithium-ion batteries because they are far better than other types for their products.

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Battery advantages and disadvantages

Advantages: High level of energy density, Lightweight, Less maintenance, Low self-discharge rate

Disadvantages: Can be damaged due to overheating and high voltage

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Battery design tips

  • When to use: If there is a requirement of high energy density and high discharge current.
  • When not to use: If low-cost transportation, compliance testing is required.

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Battery

The materials of the electrodes are the same as Lithium-ion batteries but use a high-conductivity gel polymer as an electrolyte to enable the movement of ions between electrodes. In addition, this polymer electrolyte can shut down the battery due to overheating during charging and discharging.

Lithium Polymer battery applications

  • Laptop computers
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • lightweight electric vehicles
  • aircraft

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery advantages and disadvantages

Advantages: Comparatively secure than Li-Ion batteries, High level of energy density, less maintenance, factors related to slim and flexible form.

Disadvantages: Expensive, unsafe during leakage or puncture.

Lithium Polymer design tips

  • When to use: If there is a requirement for high energy density and low self-discharge rate.
  • When not to use: Not suitable for low-temperature applications.

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) Battery

Nickel-Cadmium batteries are secondary type batteries that typically contain a Cadmium hydroxide anode, a Nickel oxide-hydroxide cathode, and a Potassium hydroxide electrolyte between both electrodes.

Nickel Cadmium battery applications

Advantages of NiCad: fast charging, long shelf life, higher charge and discharge cycle.

Disadvantages of NiCad: Expensive, unsafe during overcharging, Cadmium is not environment friendly.

Design tips for NiCad

  • In case of cheaper rechargeable battery requirements.
  • If a longer life span is required for multiple times charging and discharging
  • Do not use if recharging conditions are undefined.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Battery

The composition of A Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) secondary battery consists of a positive electrode of nickel oxide-hydroxide and a negative electrode with a hydrogen-absorbing alloy. The electrodes are unconnected with a potassium hydroxide electrolyte.

Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery applications: Digital cameras, wireless telephones, microphone-based products, toothbrushes, Medical instruments, and hybrid vehicles

guide, batteries, product, design

NiMH advantages: High power density, compact size, No transportation regulations, a good substitute for Alkaline.

NiMH disadvantages: Expensive than a NiCad battery, rapidly self-discharges, and has a short service life.

Design tips for Nickel-Metal Hydride

  • Suitable to use for high current drain usage, i.e. portable power tools.
  • If the battery is at half capacity and the charging method is undefined.
  • NiMH battery has a shorter life span. Hence, it does not match more extended usage requirements.

Lead-acid batteries

The lead acid battery is rechargeable with a metallic lead electrode (anode), a lead dioxide electrode (cathode) and a concentrated solution of sulphuric acid (35%–40%) as an electrolyte. It is inexpensive, capable of producing high currents, and has a relatively low energy density.

Lead-acid battery applications

  • Machinery and Automobiles
  • Small power storage systems
  • UPS
  • starting lighting and ignition power sources for automobiles
  • large-scale power systems, such as grid-scale power systems

Advantages of Lead-acid: Economical, less maintenance, high-level discharge rate

Disadvantages of Lead-acid: Short service life, heavyweight, limited useable capacity

Lead-acid design tips

When to use

When not to use

  • Suppose a lightweight battery is needed. Unfortunately, these batteries are heavier due to heavy lead cells.
  • If there is a requirement for numerous cycles

Secondary battery comparison

DescriptionNiCadNiMHLead AcidLi-IonLi-Polymer

Battery selection criteria

There is no single battery design that is ideal for every application. Choosing one necessitates a trade-off. That is why it is critical to prioritise your requirements list. Determine which parameters you must have and which you can compromise. Here are some key parameters to consider during the early stages of product design.

Rechargeable or Disposable

This parameter relates to one-time or multiple-time usage. For example, the non-rechargeable battery is used in mems-based sensors, toys, Smart watches, pacemakers, and flashlights. At the same time, the rechargeable battery is used in laptops, cell phones, and EVs to provide regular power.

Space availability

The batteries have different sizes and shapes, as mentioned above. However, the typical sizes of primary and secondary batteries/cells are AA, AAA, and 9V, which are feasible for portable gadgets.

Battery voltage

As mentioned in the specifications table, this parameter is described as a battery’s nominal or output voltage.

Operating temperature

The temperature also affects the battery performance. The batteries with liquid electrolytes cannot operate below 0°C as their electrolyte has a higher chance of freezing. Similarly, lithium-based batteries can perform up to.40°C but with low performance. The ideal temperature range of these batteries is 20°C to 40°C.

Battery capacity

The battery capacity is expressed as Watt-hours (Wh) which shows the amount of power (W) delivered for a specific time range. It relies on temperature, discharge rate, and cut-off voltage value. For example, a battery with 12V and 1Ah has a total capacity of 12Wh, whereas it can deliver 1 Amp for one hour or 100mA for 10 hours or 10mA for 100 hours which is called the discharge rate. The cut-off voltage value is the point at which the battery is considered fully discharged, and further discharge can be harmful.

Chemical composition

The characteristics of a battery always depend on its chemical composition, as described earlier.

Battery cost

A battery is considered among the most expensive parts of any device. Hence product designer should select it according to your budget and the need of the application.

Shelf Life

The shelf life is also essential when choosing a battery as it determines how long a battery can be kept unutilised.

Lithium Ion Battery Types

details of the different types of lithium ion battery, li-ion battery types that are available giving details of their make-up and the different types of application for which they are suited.

Although all lithium ion batteries, or li-ion batteries have many aspects in common, there is a variety of different types of lithium ion battery that are available.

Each lithium ion battery type has its own characteristics and this means that different types of Li-ion battery will be used in different areas.

Accordingly it is necessary to choose the right type of lithium ion battery for any application. understanding the different types and their characteristics enables the right type to be chosen for any particular application.

Lithium ion battery types overview

Parameters such as the chemistry, the cost, size, weight, capacity and many more attributes vary across the different types of lithium ion battery.

Items such as handheld items of electronic equipment ranging from mobile phones, to tablet computers, games, e-readers and more require high energy density levels combined with high levels of safety. For these applications Lithium Cobalt Oxide types of battery are normally used.

In other applications a lower energy density can be tolerated, but a longer battery life may be needed. The type of li-ion battery used for these applications is often the lithium ion phosphate battery type or lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide as these lithium ion battery types offer longer usable life times at the expense of the very high energy density.

For automotive applications where high current is a necessity, the lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide battery type is often used.

guide, batteries, product, design

There are also other types of li-ion battery that are used for particular roles. With Lithium ion battery technology moving forward apace, new types of lithium ion battery are bound to appear on the market at frequent intervals.

There is a good variety of different types of lithium ion battery. The main differences are the anode and cathode materials.

Each of the different types of lithium ion battery provide different characteristics and accordingly they tend to be used in different applications. The main types are summarised in the sections below.

Lithium Cobalt Oxide, LCO

The Lithium Cobalt Oxide, LiCoO2, battery is a type of lithium ion battery that find uses in many consumer items of electronic equipment. It provides a very high level of specific energy density along with a good level of safety.

The battery consists of a cobalt oxide cathode with a layered structure. The anode is graphite (carbon). During the discharge cycle, lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode, and in the reverse direction during charge.

The graphite anode limits the battery life as the solid electrolyte interface changes and also as a result of anode thickening. Newer batteries may incorporate nickel or manganese to improve the lifetime as well as reducing manufacturing costs.

One of the drawbacks of the LCO battery is that its current capability in both charge and discharge is limited. As a guide, it should not be charged or discharged at a greater rate than its capacity, i.e. a 2400mAh battery should not be charged or discharged with a current greater than 2400mA. Often figures of 0.8 of the charge level are recommended.

The LCO battery is now being supplanted in some applications by Lithium Manganese, as well as NMC and NCA types. This is occurring as a result of the improved performance of these other types as development improves the performance and as a result of cost.

Summary of Lithium Cobalt Oxide Battery, LCO Attribute Details
Key features High energy density; high level of safety
Main disadvantages Relatively short life-span; limited high load capability.
Main applications Consumer electronics:- mobile phones, games, laptops, tablets, e-readers, etc.
Voltage 3.60V nominal with typical operating rate between 3.0. 4.2 V/cell
Specific energy (capacity) 150. 200Wh/kg typical
Battery life 500. 1000 cycles

Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery, LFP

The Lithium Iron Phosphate, LFP type of lithium ion battery provides a low internal resistance and high current capability.

In order to provide its high of current capability, this type of li-ion battery uses a nano-scale phosphate cathode material.

In terms of performance this type of lithium ion battery provides a slightly lower terminal voltage and it has a slightly higher self-discharge rate than other forms. However against this it provides a high current rating, and good thermal stability combined with a good level of, and good thermal stability.

Summary of Lithium Iron Phosphate, LFP Battery Attribute Details
Key features High current capability, longer calendar lifespan.
Main disadvantages Slightly higher self-discharge rate; low cell voltage (3.3V)
Main applications Power tools, some medical tools, hobbyist

Lithium Manganese Oxide, LMO

This type of lithium ion battery uses Lithium Manganese Oxide, LiMn2O4 as its cathode material. This type of lithium ion battery is structured to allow high currents to flow and this enables it to provide very high current levels and also to be fast charged as well.

It generally uses a three-dimensional spinel structure, i.e. one in which the crystal structure in the cubic, isometric, system, with the oxide anions arranged in a cubic close-packed lattice. This structure improves the flow of ions on the electrode, thereby increasing he current capability and lowering the internal resistance of the cell. A typical 1500mAh battery may be able to deliver steady currents of up to 20 A, obviously for a relatively short time because of the overall battery capacity.

The structure of this type of lithium ion battery also has the advantage that it improves the thermal stability and improves the safety of the cell.

However the disadvantage of the cell is the limited number of charge discharge / cycles as well as the limited calendar life, i.e. the degradation over time since manufacture.

Summary of Lithium Manganese Oxide, MNO Battery Attribute Details
Key features High current capability for charge and discharge.
Main disadvantages Lower energy density than other types of lithium ion battery, low cycle life and calendar life.
Main applications Power tools, some medical tools some vehicles.
Voltage ~3.70V nominal
Specific energy 100. 150Wh/kg
Life expectancy 400. 750 cycles

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide, NCA

The Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide battery, or NCA, is a li-ion battery type that is rarely seen in consumer applications but is being investigated for the automotive industry. Its main advantage is that it has a good life span and high energy and power density figures.

However these features come at a cost and in view of the safety elements, it must be used with care. Further development is also required to bring it to a state where this type of li-ion battery can be more widely used.

Summary of Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide, NCA Attribute Details
Key features High energy density, high power density, good life span.
Main disadvantages High cost; safety requires more care in the design and use.
Main applications

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide, NMC

The lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide lithium battery type uses a cathode comprising of a combination of nickel, manganese, and cobalt.

The key to this lithium ion battery type is the combination of nickel and manganese. Nickel is known for its high specific energy, but poor stability whereas manganese provides low internal resistance but at the cost of low specific energy. Combining both in a cell in the correct manner is able to provide the required balance of the properties of both metals.

The cathode combination often consists of a combination of nickel, manganese and cobalt in equal proportions in a combination known as 1-1-1. This combination reduces cost by reducing the cobalt content, whilst still retaining some of the key performance parameters.

Another popular combination consists of 5 parts nickel, 3 parts cobalt 2 parts manganese (5-3-2).

The NMC type of lithium ion battery can be optimised for either to high specific power or high specific energy. With the high cost of cobalt, manufacturers are trying to move away from its use, often increasing the use of nickel, so this is often a major fact in the choice of composition of the battery.

Summary of Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide, NMC Attribute Details
Key features High specific power or energy.
Main disadvantages Power / energy density not as high as some other types.
Main applications Power tools and electric vehicles.
Voltage 3.60. 3.70 V
Specific energy 160. 230Wh/kg
Life expectancy 1000. 2000 cycles.

These types of lithium ion battery are some of the more popular ones available. However as the technology is continually seeing more development, new lithium ion technologies are always being developed and those which exist are being developed. This has arisen from the needs of the equipment manufacturers. Battery technology in general is forcing development forwards and significant amounts are being invested. As a result, this is a particularly fast moving area of technology where improvements are always being seen.

Raw Materials Company Inc.

A typical battery needs 3 parts to create electricity:

  • Anode. negative side of the battery
  • Cathode. positive side of the battery
  • Electrolyte. a chemical paste that separates the anode and cathode and transforms chemical energy into electrical energy

There are recoverable resources inside of each battery regardless of its type

Take a single-use alkaline battery for instance. These are the non-rechargeable type batteries that come in AAA, AA, C, D, 9 volt and various button cell sizes.

On average, 25% of the battery is made up of steel (casing). Did you know that steel can be recycled infinitely? Our mechanical process is able to recover 100% of the steel in each battery for reuse.

60% of the battery is made up of a combination of materials like zinc (anode), manganese (cathode) and potassium. These materials are all earth elements. This combination of material is 100% recovered and reused as a micro-nutrient in the production of fertilizer to grow corn.

The remaining 15% by weight is made up of paper and plastic (label and protective cover). These materials are sent to an energy from waste facility to create electricity.

When you recycle your alkaline batteries at Raw Materials Company, you can be certain that 100% of each battery is being reused and no materials are going to landfill.

Do you live in Ontario, Canada?

If you’re a resident of Ontario, you can recycle non-embedded primary and rechargeable batteries weighing less than 5 kilograms for free at many stores and municipal facilities across the Province. Simply type your postal code or city name into our search tool. If you live outside of Ontario, check with your local municipality to find your closest recycling point.

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Did you know?

Zinc is one of the world’s most commonly used metals. Approximately 30% of the zinc today comes from recycled sources. Raw Materials Company is able to recover zinc from the batteries that you recycle. The zinc we recover is then reused as micronutrients in fertilizer to grow corn for biofuel.

As a result of RMC’s recycled materials, farmers are able to increase their yields by over 20 bushels per acre. This is important considering our growing population and the need to make efficient use of our existing farmland.

Find out more about our technology and how together we are turning waste into a valuable resource.

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