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Is Ternary lithium battery safe? NMC vs LiFePO4 Battery

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Ternary lithium batteries, known for their widespread use and safety considerations, require a protection plate to control factors like overcharge and overheating. Widely adopted for small high-power batteries globally, they are notably utilized in high-grade Tesla cars. While improvements in safety have been made, curiosity about these batteries is addressed in this introduction, assuring readers that following instructions ensures a safe experience with ternary lithium batteries.

What is Ternary Lithium Battery (NCM)?

Ternary lithium batteries, also known as NCM batteries, utilize a cathode composed of nickel, cobalt, and manganese. The name ‘ternary’ refers to these three metals. Varying their ratios forms different compounds, influencing battery performance. However, higher nickel content can lead to reduced capacity and cycling stability. In essence, ternary lithium batteries combine these elements to optimize energy storage efficiency.

What is Ternary Lithium Battery (NCM)?

Why we use Ni, Co and Mn in ternary lithium battery ?

We use nickel, cobalt, and manganese in ternary lithium batteries for their unique properties. Nickel boosts energy density, cobalt stabilizes the battery’s structure for better performance, and manganese enhances safety. Together, they balance power, stability, and cost-effectiveness, making ternary batteries ideal for various applications.

Each element contributes unique properties:

Nickel (Ni): Despite being chemically active, nickel enhances volumetric energy density, crucial for compact battery designs.

Cobalt (Co): Cobalt’s stability in humid environments and its role in stabilizing the material’s laminar structure lead to improved conductivity and cycling performance, although it comes at a relatively higher cost.

Manganese (Mn): Manganese’s stability and resistance to oxidation or reduction enhance the safety and stability of the battery, contributing to its overall reliability.

Together, these elements form ternary lithium batteries, offering a balance of power density, stability, and cost-effectiveness, making them a preferred choice for various applications.

Why we use Ni, Co and Mn in ternary lithium battery ?

Safety Concerns with Ternary Lithium Batteries

Ternary lithium batteries require careful handling to prevent safety risks. Avoid overcharging, extreme temperatures, and physical damage to prevent fires or explosions. Keep batteries dry to avoid short circuits, and use proper chargers. Store in cool, dry places, and handle with care during transportation. Following these tips ensures safe use of ternary lithium batteries。

Here are key safety concerns and recommended practices:

  1. Thermal Runaway Risk: Ternary lithium batteries are susceptible to thermal runaway, especially when subjected to overcharging, extreme temperatures, or physical damage. Thermal runaway can lead to hazardous outcomes like fires or explosions.

  2. Physical Damage Sensitivity: Due to their relatively fragile nature, ternary batteries require cautious handling to prevent physical damage such as impacts, compression, or bending. Proper installation and maintenance procedures are crucial for ensuring battery integrity and safety.

  3. Moisture Sensitivity: Ternary lithium batteries are sensitive to moisture, which can cause short circuits and other safety hazards. It’s imperative to store and use these batteries in dry environments to mitigate moisture-related risks.

  4. Balancing and Battery Management Systems (BMS): Implementing robust battery management systems (BMS) is essential for maintaining cell balance, preventing overcharging, and monitoring temperature variations. Regularly checking and balancing individual cells within the battery pack is recommended to ensure optimal performance and safety.

  5. Charging Practices: Adhering to recommended charging guidelines is critical for safe battery operation. Avoid overcharging or charging at high currents beyond specifications, and utilize chargers specifically designed for ternary lithium batteries to minimize safety risks.

  6. Storage and Transportation: Store ternary lithium batteries in cool, dry environments away from direct sunlight to preserve their integrity. During transportation, ensure proper packaging and avoid exposing batteries to extreme conditions to prevent safety incidents.

By following these safety considerations and best practices, users can minimize safety risks associated with ternary lithium batteries and ensure safe and efficient operation. Always prioritize safety and adhere to manufacturer guidelines for optimal battery performance and longevity.


 NMC vs LiFePO4 Battery in Security


NCM batteries can easily overheat or catch fire when damaged or abused

The LFP battery burns normally after long time emitting smoke, without explosion or jetting flames

The NCM battery LFP battery smokes and then burns like a flamethrower and then a huge fireball forms

How to charge Ternary lithium battery?

To safely charge a ternary lithium battery, use a lithium-ion charger, check battery specs, and charge in a stable, ventilated area. Connect the charger correctly, set it to recommended settings, and monitor charging progress and temperature. Charge to full capacity, then disconnect. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for best results。

How to charge Ternary lithium battery?

When charging a ternary lithium battery, it’s essential to follow these steps for optimal safety and performance:

  1. Choose the Right Charger: Select a charger specifically designed for lithium-ion batteries that matches the voltage and capacity of your ternary lithium battery to avoid damage or safety risks.

  2. Check Battery Specifications: Review the manufacturer’s guidelines or datasheet to determine the recommended voltage range, charging current, and any specific instructions.

  3. Prepare the Charging Environment: Charge the battery in a well-ventilated area on a stable surface, away from flammable materials, extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or moisture.

  4. Connect the Charger: Securely connect the charger’s positive (+) and negative (-) terminals to the corresponding battery terminals to ensure a stable connection.

  5. Set the Charging Parameters: Adjust the charger settings according to the battery specifications, including the charging voltage and current, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  6. Monitor the Charging Process: Keep an eye on the charging status and periodically check the battery temperature if possible using indicators or displays on the charger.

  7. Charge to Full Capacity: Allow the battery to charge until it reaches its full capacity, avoiding overcharging to prevent reduced battery life or safety hazards.

  8. Disconnect the Charger: Once fully charged, disconnect the charger from the battery terminals and unplug it from the power source.

Remember, these steps provide general guidance, and it’s crucial to follow the specific instructions provided by the ternary lithium battery manufacturer for safe and efficient charging.

How to store Ternary (NCM) lithium battery?

Ensure ternary lithium battery longevity with simple steps: Charge to 50-60% before storage, and keep in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Store in non-metallic containers, check for damage regularly, and recharge before use. These guidelines maintain safety and effectiveness for future use.

Follow these guidelines to ensure optimal storage conditions:

  1. Charge Level: Before storing, charge the battery to approximately 50-60% of its capacity. This helps prevent over-discharge during storage while minimizing stress on the battery.

  2. Temperature and Humidity: Store batteries in a cool, dry environment with a temperature range of 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) and humidity levels below 50%. Extreme temperatures can accelerate battery aging, while high humidity can lead to corrosion.

  3. Sunlight Exposure: Avoid exposing batteries to direct sunlight, as heat and UV radiation can degrade performance and pose safety risks.

  4. Battery Enclosure: Store batteries in non-conductive, non-metallic containers to prevent accidental short-circuits and physical damage.

  5. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in the storage area to prevent the accumulation of flammable gases, especially when storing multiple batteries.

  6. Separate Storage: If storing multiple batteries, keep them individually or separate them with insulating material to prevent contact and potential short-circuiting.

  7. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect stored batteries for damage, leakage, or swelling. Dispose of damaged batteries properly following recycling guidelines.

  8. Recharge: Before use, recharge batteries that have been in storage for an extended period to the appropriate voltage level to ensure optimal performance and safety.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively store ternary lithium batteries, maintaining their performance and safety for future use.

NMC and LFP lithium battery storage temperature

Remember, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for storing ternary lithium batteries. Different battery models may have specific requirements, so refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for any additional instructions or precautions related to storage.

What’s Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery?

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are a type of rechargeable battery known for their safety and durability. They last over 10 years, making them popular for electric vehicles, home energy storage, and solar-powered lighting systems. LiFePO4 batteries have stable thermal behavior and are environmentally friendly, making them ideal for various energy storage applications.

Let’s delve into their properties and applications:

Cathode Material: LiFePO4 batteries feature a cathode made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), known for its safety, thermal stability, and extended cycle life.

Key Characteristics:

  • Safety: LiFePO4 batteries are recognized for their exceptional safety profile, characterized by stable thermal behavior.
  • Longevity: With a lifespan of over 10 years and thousands of charge-discharge cycles, LiFePO4 batteries offer unmatched durability.
  • Low Toxicity: LiFePO4 chemistry is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, aligning with sustainable energy practices.
  • Excellent Thermal Stability: These batteries exhibit remarkable resilience to high temperatures, mitigating the risk of thermal runaway.

Specific Energy and Voltage:

  • LiFePO4 batteries boast a specific energy that, while slightly lower than other lithium-ion variants, remains sufficient for numerous applications.
  • Operating at around 3.2 volts per cell, they deliver reliable and consistent performance.


  • Electric Vehicles (EVs): LiFePO4 batteries are extensively used in EVs due to their superior safety and longevity, ensuring a reliable power source for transportation.
  • Home Energy Storage: They serve as an ideal solution for storing energy generated from solar panels, facilitating sustainable residential energy management.
  • Solar-Powered Lighting Systems: LiFePO4 batteries offer reliable energy storage for outdoor lighting, ensuring consistent illumination in solar-powered setups.
  • Other Uses: Beyond EVs and home energy storage, LiFePO4 batteries find applications in backup power systems and utility-scale stationary storage, addressing diverse energy storage needs.

In summary, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries stand out for their impeccable safety record, longevity, and versatility, making them a preferred choice across various energy storage applications.

What's Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery?

Different Characteristics Curve Temperature Discharge Curve (0.5C)

NCM battery vs LiFePO4 battery

Comparing NCM and LiFePO4 batteries: NCM batteries contain nickel, cobalt, and manganese, offering higher energy density for EVs and electronics, while LiFePO4 batteries, made of lithium iron phosphate, prioritize safety and longevity, ideal for home energy storage. LiFePO4 batteries are safer with longer cycle life, whereas NCM batteries provide higher energy density.

  • Chemistry and Composition:

    • NCM Batteries: Composed of nickel, cobalt, and manganese. Offer higher energy density, commonly used in EVs and portable electronics.
    • LiFePO4 Batteries: Feature lithium iron phosphate cathode for safety and stability. Ideal for home energy storage, solar applications, and backup power systems.
  • Safety:

    • LiFePO4 Batteries: Known for stable thermal behavior and low risk of thermal runaway.
    • NCM Batteries: Exhibit lower thermal stability and may be more sensitive to temperature changes.
  • Cycle Life:

    • LiFePO4 Batteries: Exceptional cycle life of over 10 years with thousands of charge-discharge cycles, making them ideal for long-term applications.
    • NCM Batteries: Typically offer around 2000 cycles, but capacity declines after 1000 cycles, suitable for high-performance applications.
  • Applications:

    • LiFePO4 Batteries: Commonly used in home energy storage, solar-powered lighting, and off-grid applications due to their safety and longevity.
    • NCM Batteries: Preferred choice for EVs, portable electronics, and utility-scale stationary storage, offering higher energy density.

In summary, while NCM batteries provide higher energy density, LiFePO4 batteries prioritize safety and longevity, making them suitable for different applications based on specific requirements and priorities. 

NCM battery vs LiFePO4 batteryNCM battery vs LiFePO4 battery
Here’s a comparison between ternary and LiFePO4 batteries :

I: The material used in LiFePO4 battery and a ternary Lithium battery is different.

II: A LiFePO4 battery is a 3.2V voltage platform, with a cycle life of more than 2000 charges.

III: The ternary lithium battery is a 3.7V voltage platform, and the cycle life depends on different manufacturers, different models and processes, and generally is 500-800 charges.

IV: LiFePO4 batteries offer better high temperature performance.

V: LiFePO4 batteries are safer.

Tesla electric vehicle (EV) and NMC batteries

Tesla’s success in the electric vehicle (EV) industry is partly attributed to their pioneering use of ternary lithium batteries, specifically NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) batteries, in their Model series EVs. Let’s explore three key reasons why these advanced batteries have become the cornerstone of Tesla’s innovation.

Tesla electric vehicle (EV) and NMC batteries

  1. Cutting-Edge Battery Technology:

    • Tesla sets itself apart by pushing the boundaries of battery technology.
    • Ternary lithium batteries, with the combination of nickel, manganese, and cobalt, are at the heart of Tesla’s Model series EVs, showcasing innovation in action.
  2. High Energy Density and Stability:

    • Ternary lithium batteries provide Tesla vehicles with remarkable energy density, resulting in extended range capabilities.
    • The incorporation of nickel, manganese, and cobalt ensures not only high energy density but also stability during operation, contributing to a reliable driving experience.
  3. Enhanced Safety Measures:

    • Safety is a top priority for Tesla, and ternary lithium batteries play a crucial role in achieving this.
    • These batteries exhibit enhanced thermal stability, reducing the risk of overheating or fires during extreme conditions, such as high temperatures or fast charging sessions.

In summary, Tesla’s reliance on ternary lithium batteries showcases their dedication to cutting-edge technology, improved performance, and heightened safety standards in the electric vehicle industry.


Why is manganese oxide used in batteries?

Manganese oxide is used in batteries as a depolarizer, facilitating the efficient flow of electrons. It is commonly found in dry-cell batteries and is also utilized in batteries like Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium Manganese batteries. The presence of manganese oxide enhances the overall performance and stability of these batteries.
  1. Depolarizer Function: Manganese oxide acts as a depolarizer in batteries, enabling the efficient flow of electrons during the battery’s operation. This helps to maintain a stable and continuous flow of electrical energy.
  2. Dry-Cell Batteries: Manganese dioxide is commonly used in dry-cell batteries as a key component. It serves as a depolarizer, preventing the buildup of excessive electrical charge and ensuring the smooth operation of the battery.
  3. Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium Manganese Batteries: Manganese is also utilized in batteries like NMC and Lithium Manganese batteries. In these battery systems, manganese contributes to the overall performance and stability, enhancing the energy storage capacity and efficiency.

How are cobalt and nickel used in lithium-ion batteries?

Cobalt and nickel are crucial components in lithium-ion batteries, especially in the cathode. The combination of cobalt and nickel contributes to higher energy density, enabling the battery to store more energy. This is particularly important in electric vehicle batteries, where nickel enhances performance and allows for extended travel range.
  1. Cobalt: Cobalt plays a vital role in lithium-ion batteries, especially when combined with nickel. This combination contributes to higher energy density, allowing the battery to store more energy and deliver longer-lasting power. Cobalt helps optimize the electrochemical reactions within the battery, enhancing its overall performance.
  2. Nickel: Nickel is another important component in lithium-ion batteries, particularly in the cathode. It enhances the battery’s performance and enables extended travel range, especially in electric vehicles. The presence of nickel contributes to higher energy density and improved efficiency, making it a valuable element in lithium-ion batteries.
  3. Synergistic Effect: The combination of cobalt and nickel in lithium-ion batteries creates a synergistic effect, resulting in higher energy density and improved overall performance. This combination allows for the development of batteries that can store more energy and provide longer-lasting power, making them suitable for various applications, including electric vehicles and portable electronics.

What is the role of nickel in lithium-ion batteries?

The role of nickel in lithium-ion batteries is crucial. Nickel lends a higher energy density and more storage capacity to the batteries, making them suitable for applications such as electric vehicles. The inclusion of nickel allows electric vehicles to travel more miles on a single charge, addressing a key challenge for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
  1. Higher Energy Density: Nickel plays a vital role in increasing the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Its presence allows for the storage of more energy within the battery, enabling longer-lasting power and improved performance.
  2. Greater Storage Capacity: The inclusion of nickel in lithium-ion batteries enhances their storage capacity. This means that the batteries can store more energy, resulting in extended usage time and improved efficiency.
  3. Electric Vehicle Applications: Nickel’s role in lithium-ion batteries is particularly significant in electric vehicles. The higher energy density and greater storage capacity provided by nickel allow electric vehicles to travel more miles on a single charge, addressing one of the key challenges for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Why is cobalt needed for lithium batteries?

Cobalt is a vital component in lithium batteries, particularly when combined with nickel. The combination of cobalt and nickel contributes to higher energy density, leading to longer driving ranges and improved performance for electric vehicles. Cobalt’s role in enhancing energy density makes it an essential element in lithium batteries, ensuring efficient and reliable energy storage.
  1. Enhanced Energy Density: Cobalt plays a crucial role in lithium batteries by contributing to higher energy density. When combined with nickel, cobalt allows for more efficient energy storage, enabling longer driving ranges and improved performance for electric vehicles.
  2. Improved Battery Performance: The inclusion of cobalt in lithium batteries enhances their overall performance. Cobalt’s unique properties help optimize the electrochemical reactions within the battery, resulting in improved efficiency and reliability.
  3. Applications in Electric Vehicles: Cobalt’s role in lithium batteries is particularly significant in electric vehicles. The higher energy density provided by cobalt allows for longer driving ranges, addressing one of the key challenges for electric vehicle adoption.

What is lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide battery?

A lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide battery, also known as NMC, is a cathode combination of nickel, manganese, and cobalt. NMC batteries are one of the most successful lithium-ion systems, offering flexibility in serving as both Energy Cells and Power Cells. With their optimized performance and characteristics, NMC batteries provide efficient and reliable energy storage solutions for various applications.
  1. Cathode Combination: A lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide battery, or NMC battery, is a type of lithium-ion battery that utilizes a cathode combination of nickel, manganese, and cobalt. This combination allows for the optimization of the battery’s performance and characteristics, ensuring efficient energy storage.
  2. Versatility: NMC batteries are known for their versatility in serving different applications. They can be tailored to serve as Energy Cells or Power Cells, depending on the specific requirements of the application. This flexibility makes NMC batteries suitable for a wide range of devices and systems.
  3. Optimized Performance: The combination of nickel, manganese, and cobalt in NMC batteries results in optimized performance. These batteries offer high energy density, allowing for efficient energy storage. They also provide reliable power output and extended cycle life, making them a preferred choice for various energy storage applications.

Can manganese replace cobalt in batteries?

Manganese is being considered as a potential replacement for cobalt in batteries. Manganese-based batteries offer advantages such as improved safety, stability, and cost-effectiveness compared to cobalt-based batteries. They provide denser and quicker charging power, longer distance performance, and are more abundant. Researchers are exploring the use of manganese in lithium-ion batteries as a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to cobalt, addressing issues related to cobalt supply and cost.
  1. Advantages of Manganese: Manganese-based batteries offer several advantages over cobalt-based batteries. They are safer, more stable, and more economical. Manganese-based batteries provide denser and quicker charging power, as well as longer distance performance. Additionally, manganese is more abundant and readily available, reducing concerns related to cobalt supply and cost.
  2. Addressing Cobalt Challenges: The exploration of manganese as a replacement for cobalt in batteries aims to address challenges associated with cobalt, such as its scarcity and ethical concerns related to mining practices. By reducing reliance on cobalt, the industry can develop more sustainable and environmentally friendly battery technologies.
  3. Research and Development: Researchers are actively investigating the use of manganese in lithium-ion batteries. They are studying the performance, stability, and compatibility of manganese-based batteries to ensure their suitability for various applications. The goal is to develop batteries that offer improved performance while reducing the reliance on cobalt.

Why is manganese used in EV batteries?

Manganese is used in EV batteries, specifically in the cathodes of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion batteries. The incorporation of manganese contributes to the thermal stability of NMC batteries, reducing the risk of overheating during charging and discharging. Moreover, NMC batteries offer a relatively high energy density, allowing them to store a significant amount of energy in a compact space. The utilization of manganese in EV batteries ensures both safety and efficient energy storage for electric vehicles.

More FAQs

Is LiFePO4 better than NMC? The superiority of LiFePO4 (LFP) or NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) batteries depends on specific application requirements. LFP batteries are known for their safety and longevity, while NMC batteries offer higher energy density and better overall performance in terms of power output.

Which is better, NMC or LFP batteries? It depends on the application. NMC batteries generally have higher energy density and better power output, making them suitable for electric vehicles and high-performance devices. On the other hand, LFP batteries are known for their safety, longevity, and resistance to thermal runaway, making them ideal for stationary energy storage and applications where safety is paramount.

Which is better, NMC or LFP batteries?

What battery is better than LiFePO4? There isn’t a straightforward answer, as it depends on the specific requirements of the application. NMC batteries are often considered a viable alternative to LiFePO4 batteries due to their higher energy density and performance characteristics.

What is the voltage difference between NMC and LiFePO4? The voltage difference between NMC and LiFePO4 batteries is typically minimal. Both types of batteries generally have similar nominal voltages, typically around 3.2 to 3.7 volts per cell.

Why is NMC better than LFP? NMC batteries are often considered better than LFP batteries for applications requiring higher energy density and power output. They also tend to have better cycle life and faster charging capabilities.

Why is NMC more expensive than LFP? NMC batteries are more expensive than LFP batteries due to their higher energy density and more complex manufacturing process. Additionally, the materials used in NMC batteries, such as cobalt, can be more costly and subject to price fluctuations.

What are the disadvantages of LiFePO4 batteries? Some disadvantages of LiFePO4 batteries include lower energy density compared to other lithium-ion chemistries like NMC, which results in larger and heavier battery packs for the same energy storage capacity. Additionally, they tend to have lower specific power and voltage compared to NMC batteries.

Does Tesla use NMC battery? Yes, Tesla uses NMC battery cells in some of its electric vehicle models, particularly those with higher energy density requirements.

Does Tesla use NMC battery?

Does Tesla use LiFePO4 batteries? No, Tesla does not use LiFePO4 batteries in its electric vehicles. Instead, they primarily use NMC battery cells for their higher energy density and performance characteristics.

What is the disadvantage of NMC battery? One disadvantage of NMC batteries is their reduced safety compared to LiFePO4 batteries. NMC batteries are more prone to thermal runaway and have a higher risk of catching fire or exploding under certain conditions.

Does Tesla use NMC or LFP batteries? Tesla primarily uses NMC batteries in its electric vehicles due to their higher energy density and better overall performance compared to LFP batteries.

Is NMC safer than LFP? No, LiFePO4 batteries are generally considered safer than NMC batteries due to their inherent thermal stability and resistance to thermal runaway. NMC batteries, while offering higher energy density, are more prone to safety risks under certain conditions.

What is the life expectancy of LFP vs NMC? Both LFP and NMC batteries can have long lifespans, with proper care and maintenance. However, LiFePO4 batteries typically have a longer cycle life and better calendar life compared to NMC batteries.

What are the advantages of NMC battery? Some advantages of NMC batteries include higher energy density, better power output, and faster charging capabilities compared to LiFePO4 batteries. They are also more commonly used in electric vehicles due to their performance characteristics.

Is LiFePO4 the best battery? LiFePO4 batteries are highly regarded for their safety, longevity, and thermal stability, making them an excellent choice for applications where safety is paramount. However, whether they are the “best” battery depends on the specific requirements of the application, as NMC batteries may offer better performance in terms of energy density and power output.

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