The rise in pollution has forced automobile manufacturers to look for alternative means to reduce carbon footprint. Power utilities and other manufacturers dependent on fossil fuels are looking for viable means to sustain their production. Lithium iron phosphate can be used in rechargeable batteries and for power backup.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
Lithium iron phosphate is used in many applications that require rapid charging. It is one of the raw materials used in lithium-ion batteries. It is highly preferred by energy generation and automobile sectors due to its high energy density. It can charge lithium-ion based products more rapidly than lithium cobalt oxide batteries. LiFePO4 has a higher installation cost but has higher efficiency and reliability than lead batteries.
The advancements in lithium-ion industry have led to different variations in the iron phosphate cathode which has a higher electric and thermal stability. Nanoparticles have been used to coat the cathode in Li-ion batteries to increase its capacity. The rise in environmental pollution and near-exhaustion of fossil fuels may lead to the adoption of lithium iron phosphate batteries for future applications.
In January 2017, Intersil, a US based semiconductor company launched a 3.6V charger for the LiFePO4 batteries. It leaks low power and has a fold-back feature that can prevent overheating of the cells. It is used to charge eCell backup systems embedded in electric vehicles (EV). It can be useful in dire need of roadside assistance and other such emergencies.
The shortfall in battery manufacturers has led to strategic collaborations among major EV manufacturers to establish bigger battery manufacturing plants. For instance, Samsung SDI and Lucid Motors have partnered to kickstart such a plant to support the launch of the new EV by the latter.
The worldwide lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) material and battery market may attain USD 25.5 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, Inc. It is anticipated to display a CAGR close to 21% over the forecast period (2014 to 2025). The market is driven by high demand from consumer electronics and electric vehicles.
Graphite accounted nearly 27% market revenues in 2016. It is expected to exhibit a 26% CAGR over the forecast period. Electric & hybrid electric vehicles held nearly 58% market on account of revenue in 2016. Asia Pacific dominated the overall market in terms of demand during the same year owing to the presence of hybrid vehicle manufacturers. It is expected to grow at a 22% CAGR in the forthcoming years. Key market players are GAIA, BYD Co. Ltd., A123 Systems, LLC, and Optimum Nano Energy.
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