Tech Tuesday | LiFePO4 and The Environment

Posted April 21, 2020

Did you know that LiFePO4 batteries use no rare earths or toxic metals? They utilize commonly available materials including copper, iron and graphite. In honor of Earth Day, in this week’s Tech Tuesday we’re sharing a few reasons why lithium iron phosphate batteries are better for the environment.

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Hi, Simon with RELiON Battery. In celebration of Earth Day, we’re talking about how Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries Are Easier On The Environment. LiFePO4 batteries have many features that make them superior to other battery technologies. They’re lightweight and versatile. They have a long lifespan and a fast recharge rate. They can withstand cold, heat, collision, and mishandling without risk of combustion. And there are big environmental advantages to using LiFePo4 batteries over lead-acid. But how do LiFePO4 batteries stack up against other types of lithium batteries in terms of environmental friendliness?

Quite well, it turns out.

Lithium itself is not toxic and it does not bioaccumulate like lead or other heavy metals. But most lithium battery chemistries use oxides of nickel, cobalt, or manganese in their electrodes. Estimates suggest it takes 50% more energy to produce these materials compared to the electrodes in LiFePO4 batteries.

They have big advantages over other lithium chemistries:

They use no rare earths or toxic metals and employ commonly available materials including copper, iron, and graphite

Less energy is consumed in mining and processing of materials

Phosphate salts are also less soluble than metal oxides, so they are less likely to leach into the environment if the battery is improperly discarded

And of course, LiFePO4 batteries are chemically stable against combustion and rupture under nearly all operating and storage conditions

Once again, lithium iron phosphate batteries come out ahead.

We’re all concerned about protecting the environment, and we strive to do our part to reduce pollution and resource consumption. When it comes to choosing a battery technology, LiFePO4 batteries are an excellent choice for enabling renewable energy like wind and solar and for minimizing the consequences of resource extraction.

That’s it for today. Thanks for watching.