Searching for the Origin of the Battery – Lithium Hydroxide

The rise of the EV market has made battery makers take notice of lithium hydroxide as an ingredient for a high-capacity battery. What makes it a favored ingredient in the battery industry? Let’s find out.

Various Forms of Lithium

Lithium, a key material of lithium-ion batteries, comes in various forms. Among them, lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide can be used in rechargeable batteries. The former is mainly used in smaller electronic devices such as laptops while the latter is employed for high-density, high-capacity batteries such as for EVs. As the demand for electric vehicle batteries is growing, lithium hydroxide is receiving attention accordingly.

Characteristics and Production Methods of Lithium Hydroxide

Lithium hydroxide is a white solid and the hydroxide of lithium with the chemical formula LiOH. It is a strong base, highly soluble in water. Also, it absorbs carbon dioxide in the air. It is obtained largely through two methods: Extracting from brine and using physical and chemical processes with lithium ores.

Synthesis of Lithium Hydroxide and Nickel

Then, what makes lithium hydroxide the right ingredient for EV batteries? It easily synthesizes with nickel, a key ingredient of battery cathode materials. The higher the nickel content in a battery, the more the battery energy density increases. Recently, the popularity of high-nickel batteries pushed up the demand for lithium hydroxide.

LG Energy Solution signed a long-term offtake agreement with Vulcan Energy, a German-Australian zero-carbon lithium producer, for a stable supply of lithium hydroxide. Vulcan Energy will deliver a total of 95,000 tons of lithium hydroxide extracted using eco-friendly geothermal energy in the Upper Rhine valley in Germany for 10 years.

As the importance of batteries grows, you will get latest trends on batteries even more frequently. Since we learned that lithium hydroxide is a key material for high-capacity batteries today, we can better understand when we get relevant news in future.