Mesa Minerals Limited
Manganese variant of the lithium-ion battery makes further inroads in transport sector
This is my site Written by Alan on June 20, 2008 – 9:46 am

A recent article by Jon Ostrower for Flight International entitled “Boeing looks to boost 787 lithium ion battery service life” discussed a rumoured move by Boeing to move to the manganese variant of the lithium ion battery for its new 787 series aircraft rather than staying with the lithium ion variant (presumably cobalt) that was originally designed into this aircraft’s power systems. The article speculated that the move was “due to longevity concerns” by Boeing and US Federal Aviation Administration voiced concerns over the use of cobalt variants of lithium ion battery technology due to their exposure to over charging, overdischarging and overheating.

If this article is on the money, then this is a very significant step forward for the manganese variant of the lithium ion battery, not just in providing back up power in aviation power systems, but in all transport power systems. Such a move will further demonstrate the advantages of this technology in terms of operational safety, high power to weight ratio, enhanced longevity, lower cost and lower environmental impacts, relative to its competitors.

From HiTec’s perspective, this mooted transition from the cobalt variant of the lithium ion battery to the manganese variant is not a surprise, but merely one more step towards the manganese variant becoming the standard for the next generation of vehicles of every shape, size or purpose. With this prospect in mind, we see escalating demand for the components of this battery technology, a primary one being high purity electrolytic manganese dioxide.

To meet this increased demand EMD producers will not only have to lift investment in new production capacity (a difficult enough task for an industry that has endured a decade of parlous financial existence) but will also need to invest invest in cleaner, smarter production technology. The latter investments will be essential if tomorrow’s EMD production plants are to produce the high purity products the battery industry will demand of them, from the lower and lower grades of manganese ores that will be available and in the increasing stringent environmental regimes they will face.

It is in these areas that HiTec can offer existing and aspiring EMD producers technologies that will allow them to deliver and prosper.

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