Manganese In EV Batteries
Manganese (Mn) is a critical and irreplaceable element used in steel production. The US uses about 500,000 tons of manganese per year, the majority of which is used up by the steel industry. Aside from steel production, manganese can now be found in electric vehicle batteries.
The most common battery types found in modern EV’s are lithium-ion and lithium polymer. This is because of their high energy density compared to their weight. Lithium-ion batteries can be discharged and recharged daily no matter the state of charge.
Currently a large portion of electric vehicle battery manufacturers are using cobalt. However it is toxic, expensive and is accompanied by unethical mining practices. Now the lithium ion battery industry is moving towards Mn, a much friendlier alternative.
Cobalt Alternatives For Electric Vehicle Batteries
Lithium Ion batteries are responsible for powering everything from your phone to large vehicles. More often than ever we are seeing the change towards battery powered technology. Even famous car companies such as Tesla, Volkswagen and Volvo will be ramping up their offerings to be battery based.
Most lithium ion batteries are dependent on cobalt. But as innovation takes hold, Mn is finally beginning to share the spotlight.
Manganese is positioned to be one of the primary elements responsible for shifting the direction of manufactured battery systems. Manganese is predicted to become the catalyst for all new Lithium-ion batteries and future backup energy storage products.
Manganese Is An Essential Part Of Battery Manufacturing’s Future
The Electric Vehicle (EV) movement is based on lithium batteries. With hundreds of millions of electric vehicles expected to debut in the upcoming decades, the need for an alternative is evident.
Currently the market is dominated by NMC battery cells that contain nickel, manganese and cobalt within their cathodes. Nickel boosts the energy density and range. Cobalt helps extend the battery life and manganese allows the batteries to operate efficiently at higher temperatures.
Manganese is also used in nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries found in hybrid vehicles. It is also seen in the up-and-coming lithiated manganese dioxide (LMD) batteries. LMD batteries consist of 61 percent manganese and 4 percent lithium. These batteries are said to have higher power output, improved thermal stability and are much safer than regular lithium-ion batteries.