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Next-Generation Cobalt-Free Cathodes – A Prospective Solution to the Battery Industry's Cobalt Problem...

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Advanced Energy Materials
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Lithium-ion batteries are overreliant on cobalt containing cathodes. Current projections estimate that hundreds of millions of electric vehicles (EVs) will be on the road by 2050, and this ever-growing demand threatens to deplete global cobalt reserves at an alarming rate. Moreover, cobalt supply chain issues have significantly increased cobalt prices throughout the last decade. As such, energy storage research and development need to reduce the reliance on cobalt to meet ever-growing demand for lithium-ion batteries. The present review summarizes the science and technology gaps and potential of numerous cobalt-free Li-ion cathodes including layered, spinel, olivine, and disordered rock-salt systems. Despite the promising performance of these Co-free cathodes, scale-up and manufacturing bottlenecks associated with these materials must also be addressed to enable widespread adoption in commercial batteries. Overall, this review broadly highlights the enormous promise of “zero-cobalt” Li-ion batteries to enable sustainable production of EVs in the coming decades.