2009 R&D 100 Winner
For many years, nickel-cadmium batteries were the only choice for portable equipment, while lead-acid batteries dominated transportation applications. Nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries emerged in the early 1990s, and today Li-ion is the fastest growing and most promising battery chemistry. However, improvements are still needed and the Argonne/Envia Composite Electrode Material Technology to Enable Plug-in Hybrids and All-Electric Vehicles from Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill., and Envia Systems, Hayward, Calif., is intended to provide more energy and more longevity than any other Li-ion cathode material technology, significantly improving the operation of a wide range of devices, from cell phones , laptop computers, and power tools to heavy-duty applications such as hybrid-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles.
Argonne and Envia Systems accomplish the task through a new lithium- and manganese-rich high-capacity material (NMC-HP). The material offers higher energy capacity than existing systems because of its high stability at a voltage of 4.3 V. At this high voltage, the material offers 180 mAh/g and a 3.7 average potential. With a price point of $190 per kWh, the material is also more cost-effective than any current competitors.
Composite electrode material