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The Ternary Lithium Batteries: NCM & NCA


The ternary lithium battery will become the main battery type in the field of power battery, especially the passenger car.
Compared with lithium iron phosphate batteries, it has higher specific energy and specific power, which is more in line
with the demand for passenger cars. In the past year of 2017, China's ternary battery was loaded with 15GWh, accounting
for 44.71%. Although it is slightly lower than lithium iron phosphate battery, it can be expected to become the absolute
number one soon with the power of passenger vehicles and electric vehicles.


However, it is worth noting that China's ternary lithium batteries are mainly NCM batteries, rather than the NCA ternary lithium
batteries used in Tesla. Then, what is the difference between the two, and what will be the future development? Let's take a
brief look.


Ternary battery NCM 811 NCA Batteries


First of all, both NCM and NCA refer to the positive electrode material of the battery. NCM refers to the positive electrode
material composed of nickel, cobalt, and manganese in a certain proportion, while the positive electrode material of NCA is
composed of nickel, cobalt, and aluminum, and each letter corresponds to the chemical first letter of related elements. As you
can see, the first two of the two ternary materials are the same, both nickel and cobalt, with the only difference being that the
former is manganese and the latter aluminum.

A basic fact is that with the increase of nickel content, the specific capacity of the ternary anode material increases gradually,
and the energy density of the cell also increases. Therefore, in NCM battery, NCM materials can be divided into NCM111,
NCM523, NCM622, and NCM 811 according to the different contents of the three, among which the following figure represents
the proportion of the three. The high nickel NCM811 will be an important development direction in the future due to the increasing
demand for range, higher specific energy requirements of batteries, and the rising price of cobalt as a minor metal.

Tesla Battery NCA


However, the common ratio of nickel, cobalt, and aluminum in NCA is 8:1.5:0.5, and the content of aluminum is very small, so
it can be understood that it is close to binary materials. Instead of manganese, Al (transition metal) is used to modify lithium nickel,
cobalt, and manganese acid through ion doping and surface coating. Ion doping can enhance the stability of materials and improve
the cycling performance of materials. However, in the production process, Al is a amphoteric metal, which is not easy to precipitate,
so there is a threshold in the production process of NCA material.


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