New Cathode Material Based on Titanium Fluoride Phosphate for Metal-Ion Batteries

Titanium could be an alternative to lithium as it is readily available


Researchers from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) have designed a new cathode material based on titanium fluoride phosphate, which is stated to be stable and has achieved superior performance at high discharge currents.

This latest development acquires all the more importance in the light of the rapid growth of electric mobility in the last few years and the growing importance of renewable energy, which requires commercially viable, and safe energy storage solutions based on metal-ion batteries.

The most commonly used batteries today are made from lithium-ion. Still, the high cost of lithium-ion batteries is a significant hurdle, which has further been compounded by speculations that the world may soon run out lithium and cobalt. Lithium and cobalt are essential for the production of a cathode, which determines the functional capabilities of the battery.

The search has been on for quite some time for an alternative source that is economically viable and cheaper than lithium-ion batteries. The use of potassium in place lithium seems to be a good option and cobalt can be replaced by more environment-friendly options like iron, manganese, and titanium

Speaking on this latest development, Artem Abakumov, director of CEST, says, “From the perspective of inorganic chemistry and solid-state chemistry, this is an excellent example showing once again that rather than blindly following the generally accepted dogmas, we should look at things with eyes wide open. If you choose the right chemical composition and synthesis method, the impossible becomes possible, and you can find new materials with unexpected properties and new opportunities for practical applications.”

Titanium could be an alternative to lithium as it is readily available, and the main titanium carrying reagents are easily available. Despite all these advantages, the low electrochemical potential limits the battery’s attainable specific energy, and this has been the main stumbling block in its wider acceptance.

This latest development provides a ray of hope for scientists all across the globe as the scientists at Skoltech succeeded in creating a cathode material based on titanium fluoride phosphate exhibiting high electrochemical potential and stability.

Recently, researchers at  Penn State University announced that they had developed a lithium-ion battery that is safe and has power and can last up to one million miles. A team of researchers at the Penn State’s Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center developed the battery.

In January this year, the researchers at IBM Research came up with a new battery that does not use any heavy metals with sourcing concerns. Generally, heavy metals like nickel and cobalt are used in batteries, which pose a serious threat to our environment and are hazardous.