New battery chemistries using niobium oxide in the cathode active materials are nearing completion in Asia, according to CBMM, a niobium manufacturer and seller.
Since 2019, CBMM has seen a 500% increase in niobium oxide exports to fulfill demand for new uses for EV battery cathodes. The company expects sales to reach 1,000 tons in 2024, when the new batteries will be released, aimed at supplying the passenger car segment. The company claims that using niobium oxide in cathodes and a high nickel formulation boosts battery energy storage capacity, improving EV autonomy. The solution reduces the cost of battery production as the addition of niobium varies from 0.5 to 1% and allows the replacement of cobalt with nickel, which is cheaper and more accessible to producers.
“Niobium is used as a doping or coating to increase thermal and structural stability in cathode active materials,” explains Dr Robson Monteiro, Senior Market Development Specialist at CBMM. “They have chemistries with high nickel or high manganese and low cobalt content, and those completely free of nickel and cobalt, improving performance, safety and durability of batteries.”