In a recent ground-breaking study conducted by the Ghent University, Echion Technologies anode material (XNO®) was shown to be more environmentally friendly than Lithium Titanate (LTO) anode materials by a factor of 2.
These findings will have major benefits for battery producers and end users that are driven by sustainability. XNO® will provide an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional LTO battery anode materials, while simultaneously easing the strain on the global battery materials supply chain.
The growth of battery production is rightly under the spotlight and there are justifiable concerns about what electrification will mean for the planet, especially in the sustainable use of, and availability of, critical minerals. Results like these achieved by Ghent University (UGent) show that the battery industry can innovate to significantly reduce its environmental burdens.
The conclusion of the study found that due to its superior performance, XNO® significantly outperformed the LTO anode from a carbon footprint point of view. The research was led by Lígia da Silva Lima and colleagues from UGent, with the team concluding that not only were the emissions for XNO® two times lower than LTO at the material level (kg CO2 equiv./kg material), but they were 2.5 times lower at the unit of energy delivery or cell level.
Lígia da Silva Lima, PhD researcher, Sustainable Systems Engineering Research Group (STEN), Department Green Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, explained: “The assessment of environmental sustainability in battery production and service life will be very important for many in the battery supply chain but also for policy-makers. Studies like ours will enable both government and industry to optimize the battery production process and to address environmental issues related to battery manufacturing. Our work will continue to help that process, and a more detailed paper entitled ‘A comparative life cycle assessment of a niobium-based and a lithium-titanium-oxide (LTO) battery anode materials’ is in development for later publication”.
Commenting on the outcomes of the study, Echion’s Chief Technology Officer, Alex Groombridge said: “The results of the study proving that XNO® has half the CO2 impact versus LTO are outstanding. This adds to the list of proven benefits that XNO® can deliver in battery performance for cell manufacturers and OEM’s. High sustainability and low CO2 impact are an essential requirement for battery supply chains, which goes hand-in-hand with technical performance.”
The study set out to evaluate the environmental sustainability of XNO® anode material production, using XNO® technology in comparison to LTO technology, quantifying the impacts to produce the two anodes, and the energy delivered by the battery cells containing these anodes. It looked at comparative cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) focused on Carbon footprint (production and energy delivery).
The results in more detail:
Production stage: 1 kg anode material (assessed with IPCC 2021 method). The results were: 52% lower carbon footprint for XNO® in relation to the LTO. The LTO carbon footprint is higher than XNO® by a factor of 2.1.
Energy delivery over the usable lifetime: 1 kWh delivered by equivalent cells over a usable lifetime (assessed with IPCC 2021 method) XNO® has a higher energy density but has a comparable cycle life to LTO, so the cell level advantage is increased. 61% lower carbon footprint for the XNO® in relation to the LTO. The LTO carbon footprint is higher than XNO® by a factor of 2.6.
The work does not stop here. Phase 2 of the study is underway. This will widen the scope to include additional environmental impact categories and will be published in an academic paper submission for peer review. These phase 2 results will add to the available data and give further insight into performance and CO2 emission comparisons for battery production.
To find out more about Echion’s Niobium-based anode materials, visit: https://echiontech.com/
About Echion Technologies LTD
After 6 years of development, Echion (Cambridge, UK) is proud to launch its XNO® anode materials, now available at scale to cell manufacturers looking to build Li-ion cells with market-leading safety, cycle-life, and fast-charging capabilities. Echion XNO® materials are based on proprietary mixed niobium oxide compositions and microparticle designs protected by 13 international patent families and are now being scaled-up to the multi-thousand tons/year production scale.
Our differentiated technology helps cell manufacturers gain a technical and commercial advantage in high-value, fast-growing markets where end-users require the safety, low total cost of ownership, and unique performance mix offered by our XNO® anode materials. This includes industrial and commercial e-mobility markets: rail, marine, AGVs, mining trucks and other off-highway vehicles, opportunity-charging e-buses and other high-utilisation EV fleets. Our materials also provide a unique value proposition for the micro-battery market and specific applications for the ESS, motorsports, and medical, markets.