Battery Management System (BMS)

Lithium Ion vs Lithium Iron Batteries

2021-07-02

A lithium-ion battery and a lithium-iron battery have very similar names, but they do have some very different characteristics,What are the major differences between the battery you are familiar with, the Lithium Ion (LiCoO2) and the new kid on the block, Lithium Iron (LiFePO4)?  

Lithium Ion cells

Lithium provides the highest capacity (ampere-hours or "Ah") per unit weight of all metals, making it an ideal material for a lithium anode. Lithium battery pack systems offer distinct advantages over other battery systems, especially with respect to long life, reliability and capacity.

Lithium-Cobalt-Oxide (LiCoO2 ) characteristics:

  1. Highest energy density
  2. Popular for Electric bike/Scooter ,skateboard, phones, PC’s etc.
  3. Risk of thermal runaway in larger systems

Lithium Iron cells

Phosphate based technology possesses superior thermal and chemical stability which provides better safety characteristics than those of Lithium-ion technology made with other cathode materials. Lithium phosphate cells are incombustible in the event of mishandling during charge or discharge, they are more stable under overcharge or short circuit conditions and they can withstand high temperatures without decomposing. When abuse does occur, the phosphate based cathode material will not burn and is not prone to thermal runaway. Phosphate chemistry also offers a longer cycle life.

The lithium-iron battery has superior chemical and thermal stability. A Lithium-iron battery remains cool at room temperature while the Li-ion may suffer thermal runaway and heats up faster under similar charging conditions.

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4 ) characteristics:

  • Safest first        
  • Most stable
  • Good density
  • Long life
  • Economical