Tesla patents “Methods of producing cathode material precursors” for the production of batteries using new technology. The new methods avoid a large amount of waste and remove unnecessary production steps, which leads to a decrease in the final cost of batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are of interest due to their optimized cost, safety, lifespan, and moderate energy density. However, current cathode production methods involve a large number of steps and can generate a significant amount of waste. For example, some conventional processes for the production of cathode materials (eg, lithium iron phosphate) require the production of nano particles, which require spray drying or multiple chemical steps. Thus, new methods that reduce or eliminate processing steps in the production of battery raw materials could help reduce the final cost of lithium-ion batteries.
On May 31, 2022, Tesla filed the patent, “Methods of producing cathode material precursors,” which was published on December 8, 2022. It describes methods of producing cathode material precursors from metal carbonyl complexes.
In the patent, Tesla describes a number of different ways that lead to the desired result. All provide a direct route to cathode production by eliminating the need for metal powders or metal sulfates during the manufacturing process. These may include reacting metal carbonyl complexes to form cathode material precursors and cathode materials for use in energy storage devices.
In some embodiments, the methods of the patent may include:
- Acid Method
- Base Method
- Hydride Method
- Oxidant Method
- Combination of Methods
For example, in some embodiments, producing a cathode material precursor and/or cathode material can be performed by the acid method in combination with the hydride method. In other embodiments, producing a cathode material precursor and/or cathode material can be performed by the base method in combination with the oxidant method.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.