The latest iteration of lithium technology is in the developmental phase at FMC Corporation's Center for Lithium Energy Advanced Research (CLEAR) in Bessemer City, North Carolina. This new R&D facility is developing and demonstrating SLMP and has engaged the interest and support of both the Departments of Energy and Defense. SLMP improves the delivery of energy over current Li-ion technology by increasing battery energy density up to 30-50%. The "stabilizing" layer on the lithium particles in SLMP mitigates the corrosion reactions of the lithium allowing to safely use this material in the manufacturing environment. In addition, incorporation of this material into the battery systems provides for the increase in battery calendar life and run time. SLMP can also form a better electrode for Li-air batteries with energy density two to three times that of Li-ion batteries.
In developing infrastructure to support a domestic battery manufacturing capability, research must continue to significantly improve the energy and power density of Li-ion rechargeable cells over existing performance by engineering and prototyping batteries incorporating SLMP and other lithium chemistries. The program needs to address the pressing need to improve the energy and power density of rechargeable batteries while reducing their weight; optimizing duration and discharge, and streamlining recharging; and developing new anode/cathode chemistries to improve performance and use lower cost chemical compounds.
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