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Lithium-Ion Battery Innovation & Patent Review - Positive Electrode

  • ID: 4766781
  • Report
  • 94 Pages
  • b-science.net LLC
1h Free Analyst Time

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Within the Next 5 Years, Cobalt Content will Drop from 3 to 0% in NCA Cathodes, Whereas Cobalt Content in NMC Cathodes will Stay Between 5 and 10%


  • 3M
  • Cnano
  • Johnson Matthey
  • NEC
  • Sanyo
  • Tianjin B&M
  • MORE

Unique insights from a machine learning-supported patent analysis have been combined with a review of the emerging Li-ion battery high energy cathode supply chain. NCA (nickel-cobalt-aluminium) and NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) are identified as the key material types on which most patenting activity is focused. The NCA supply chain is characterized by close collaboration between few players, while the NMC supply chain involves many players with more fluid relationships. Cobalt-free materials are discussed as well as longer-term options for cathode materials that will be used in solid-state batteries.


Patent filings between January 2017 and January 2019, current supply chain relationships and the direction of R&D efforts are discussed for 29 companies. Key patents are listed for an additional 130 companies. The current NMC and NCA supply chains are plotted with relationships between key players (see sample).

Reasons to Buy

The reader will understand which R&D topics are of highest interest to the industry, and how the high energy cathode supply chain will evolve in the coming years in the context of two possible scenarios.

Key Highlights

It is illustrated how key cathode material producers are shifting their R&D activities from NMC to NCA because cobalt can be reduced more effectively. At the same time, several major Li-ion battery and automotive manufacturers remain very much focused on NMC because switching costs to NCA are high.

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  • 3M
  • Cnano
  • Johnson Matthey
  • NEC
  • Sanyo
  • Tianjin B&M
  • MORE

1. Executive Summary
2. Introduction
3. The Race to Improve Battery Energy Density
4. The Focus of this Review
5. Li-Ion Battery Cell Components  
6. High Energy Cathode Material Characteristics
7. The NCA Supply Chain
8. The NMC Supply Chain
9. Feasibility of Further Cobalt Content Reduction - NCA vs. NMC
10. Alternative High Energy Cathode Materials
11. Predictions
12. Scenario A: Insufficient Cobalt Supply to Satisfy Demand
13. Scenario B: Sufficient Cobalt Supply to Satisfy Demand
14. Long Term Outlook
15. Machine Learning-Based Identification of Commercially Relevant Patents
16. Assessment of 29 Key Companies & Alliances  
17. Inactive Components of Cathodes
18. 5 Conductive Additive Manufacturers (Summary of Key Patents)
19. 5 Binder Manufacturers (Summary of Key Patents)
20. Additional Patent Filings with Commercial Relevance (120 Companies/Alliances)  
21. Appendix: Patent Analysis Methodology & Validation

List of Figures
Figure 1: Li-ion battery cell components
Figure 2: Layered NCA or NMC cathode material structure
Figure 3: Cross-sectional SEM image of NMC cathode after 2,000 cycles illustrates fracturing at primary particle interfaces
Figure 4: Outline of the NCA supply chain
Figure 5: Outline of the NMC supply chain
Figure 6: Ni/Li interlayer mixing upon substituting heteroelements into LiNiO2
Figure 7: Niobium oxide coated acetylene black
Figure 8: NCA particle microstructure
Figure 9: Boron distribution in the composite microstructure
Figure 10: Voltage/capacity diagram of potassium superoxide
Figure 11: Electrochemical properties of lithium-rich NMC with varying spinel content
Figure 12: Voltage/capacity diagram for Li1.05Mg0.025NiO2 cathode material
Figure 13: Crystallite size dependence of internal resistance in Ni-Co-Mg (90:8:2)
Figure 14: Effect of carbon black on cycling stability of Ni-Mn cathode

List of Tables
Table 1: Number of commercially relevant Li-ion battery cathode patent families between January 2017 and January 2019, 156 companies are listed
Table 2: Gradient NMC composition with 5.7% Co in the core and 17.4% Co at the surface
Table 3: Halide-containing cathode materials
Table 4: Fluoride-containing cathode materials
Table 5: Oxyfluoride-containing cathode materials
Table 6: NMC811 with varying particle size and porosity distribution
Table 7: Synergistic effects and volume expansion in NMC/NCA mixtures
Table 8: Electrochemical properties of vanadium phosphate-containing cathode materials
Table 9: Electrochemical properties of vanadate-containing cathode materials
Table 10: NMC111 and related compositions
Table 11: Layered, Li-rich Ni-Mn-based cathode materials
Table 12: Discharge capacity at varying C rates of Li1.01Mg0.024Ni0.88Co0.12O2.03
Table 13: Electrochemical properties of NCA produced by double-firing
Table 14: Electrochemical properties of Li1.210(Ni0.218Mn0.663Co0.109Zr0.01)0.790O2
Table 15: Reduction of gassing in NCA upon treatment with aluminium sulfate or sodium thiosulfate
Table 16: Electrochemical properties of Mg and Ti-doped NCA
Table 17: Screening of doped Mn-rich NMC materials
Table 18: High energy carbon coated sulfur-containing cathode materials
Table 19: Core-shell NMC materials
Table 20: Electrochemical properties of NMC with high tap density

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  • 3M
  • Argonne National Labs
  • Arkema
  • ATL
  • BASF
  • BYD
  • Cabot
  • CAMX Power
  • Cnano
  • Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL)/BRUNP Recycling
  • Denka
  • Easpring
  • Ecopro BM
  • Envision AESC
  • GEM
  • Hefei Guoxuan
  • Johnson Matthey
  • JSR
  • JX Nippon Mining & Metals
  • Kureha
  • L&F
  • LG Chemical
  • Lionano
  • Mitsubishi Motors
  • NEC
  • Nissan
  • Panasonic
  • Posco
  • Primearth EV Energy
  • Pulead
  • Renault
  • Samsung
  • Sanyo
  • Shanshan
  • Showa Denko
  • Solvay
  • Sumitomo Chemical
  • Sumitomo Metal Mining
  • Tanaka Chemical
  • TDK
  • Tianjin B&M
  • TIAX
  • Toda Kogyo
  • Toyota
  • U. Chicago
  • Umicore
  • Wildcat Discovery
  • Zeon
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