Lithium Iron Phosphate - Rapid Development of The LFP Industries

Rapid Development of The LFP Industries

At present, the root patents of the LFP compounds are held by three professional material companies: Li1-xMFePO4 by A123, LiMPO4 by Phostech and LiFePO4 • zM by Aleees. These patents have been translated to very mature mass production technologies. The largest production capacity is up to 250 tons per month. The key feature of Li1-xMFePO4 from A123 is the nano-LFP, which converts the originally less conductive LFP into commercial products by modification of its physical properties and addition of noble metals in the anode material, as well as the use of special graphite as the cathodes. The main feature of LiMPO4 from Phostech is the increased capacitance and conductivity by appropriate carbon coating; the crucial feature of LiFePO4 • zM from Aleees is the LFP with a high capacitance and low impedance obtained by the stable control of the ferrites and crystal growth. This improved control is realized by applying strong mechanical stirring forces to the precursors in high oversaturation states, which induces crystallization of the metal oxides and LFP.

These breakthroughs and fast development in upstream materials have drawn the attention of lithium battery factories and the automobile industry. It has prompted the developments of batteries and hybrid vehicles. LFP batteries and ordinary lithium batteries are both environmentally benign. The major differences between these two are that the LFP batteries do not have such safety concerns as overheating and explosion, have 4 to 5 times longer cycle lifetimes than the lithium batteries, have 8 to 10 times higher discharge power than the lithium batteries (which can produce an instant high current), and have, under the same energy density, 30 to 50% less weight than the lithium batteries. The development of the LFP battery is highly valued by corporations such as the Department of Defense of the United States (for their hybrid tanks and Hummers), General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, etc.

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