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Trends in ternary materials: NCM or NCA?
The development status of ternary materials is mainly reflected in: Japanese and Korean companies lead the process preparation and technology development of high-end materials; Chinese companies continue to catch up and popularize low-end applications.
When it comes to ternary materials, we are familiar with nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) materials, which range from 111 ternary (N:C:M=1:1:1) to 433,532,622,811. As the nickel content increases, the energy density of the battery is correspondingly increased. The energy density of the 111-type ternary battery is about 2.0 KWh/L, and to 622, the energy density can reach 2.3 KWh/L.
Nickel-cobalt-aluminum (LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2, abbreviated NCA) ternary material, high gram capacity, similar to 811 ternary, compaction density close to 532 ternary, very sensitive to water environment. The NCA is mainly made of a cylinder, and a small battery can ensure its safety. Japan and South Korea's high-end 18650 use NCA, and the current 18650 mass production capacity in Japan can reach 3.5Ah.
Compared with NCA, NCM batteries have different application prospects in 3C field or transportation field (referred to as power battery) according to model and market demand. Umicore announced in the second quarter of 2012 that by 2020, NCM will become the main lithium battery cathode material used in the world, but the lithium iron phosphate material is 20,000 tons per year.
At present, the NCA market is monopolized by Japan Chemical, Toda and Sumitomo Metal. Panasonic and Sony are major suppliers of NCA batteries, and Taiwan has a small number of applications. Jinrui Technology, which is driven by Tesla effect, is China's first NCA material supplier. The company's Jintian and Jinchi Energy will mainly undertake NCM/NCA precursor production. The company has entered the Panasonic precursor supply system, and its long-term lithium division is positioned at LCO, LMO, NCM/NCA cathode material supplier. In addition, since the second half of 2013, domestic Guangzhou Guoguang, Shenzhen Tianjiao, Shenzhen Jinhe Neng, etc. have begun to purchase small quantities of Jinrui Technology into tons.
Tesla's new generation lithium battery NCA ternary material is the key
Recently, Kurt Kelty, Tesla's chief supplier of supply chain and business development, and Jeff Dahn, a ternary layered cell research partner, will share technologies such as the improvement of nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) ternary materials for the new "2170" lithium battery. Details, the mystery of a new generation of lithium batteries will be unveiled. It is reported that the "2170" lithium battery is used on the Tesla Model 3 and may replace the traditional "18650".
Tesla CEO Musk has said that this will be the world's highest density and cheapest lithium-ion battery. With 2170 batteries, the energy required for the vehicle can be reduced by about 1/3 due to the same energy, and the energy density of the whole vehicle will be improved. In the future, it is expected that the cost of the power battery will be reduced by 90% through mass production. The industry believes that the full replacement of 18650 batteries in 2170 batteries may set off a wave of battery development technology. With the large-scale production of Model3 before September this year, the relevant NCA ternary lithium battery industry chain company will usher in the outbreak of demand.
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