LITHIUM CONF: High-content nickel batteries to remain predominant – by Renato Rostás (Metal Bulletin – June 11, 2019)

The growing need for class 1 nickel, which is suited for batteries,
is becoming an issue to the industry, McKinsey’s co-head of EV
battery materials research group, Ken Hoffman, commented.

Santiago: Lithium-ion batteries with higher nickel content will be predominant in the coming years as the industry searches for improved electric capacity, market participants said during Fastmarkets’ 11th Lithium Supply and Markets Conference on Monday June 10.

However, NCM811 batteries – which have 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese – have a long way to go to become more cost efficient as its use demands lengthier treatment to ensure safety and durability, they added.

The NCM622 – 60% Ni, 20% Co, 20% Mn battery – category will lead market share at least until 2025, Chinese electrochemical cathode materials producer Pulead Technology Industry forecast.

“There’s still only a few cathodes with nickel content above 60%, but its use will grow in the next decade,” Pulead’s chief executive officer, Yuan Gao, said. “Cathodes with 50% and below will still dominate in China.”

Batteries with more than 60% nickel use lithium hydroxide in their cathodes, instead of carbonates for products with less than 50%.

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