Nickel hydroxide is the major non-lithium battery material, which has strategic importance as a key component of high power, high cycle life energy storage devices used for aerospace, energy, and transportation industries. Nickel hydroxide is the basic material for nickel-metal hydride, nickel-zinc, nickel-hydrogen and nickel-cadmium batteries.
The use of nickel hydroxide is associated with two electrochemical transitions; beta-beta that has a theoretical energy density of 477Wh/kg, and alpha-gamma with a theoretical energy density of 795Wh/kg. Complete implementation of the alpha-gamma transition is still in progress. The specific benefit of nickel hydroxide batteries is high power and long cycle life, which in the case of nickel-hydrogen batteries can reach 30,000 cycles. Nickel hydroxide batteries are used for any application where safety issues are a prime concern. Nickel hydroxide is also the precursor for nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) oxide, which is one of the cathode materials for lithium batteries.
The development of a spherical (berry like) nickel hydroxide was originally motivated by the unavailability of high grade material on the market. The benefit of in-house production is in the combination of synthesis with processing battery electrodes. This approach eliminates one or more technological steps, and decreases the overall cost of the batteries.
Also home production of nickel hydroxide makes available the new morphologies with specific power exceeding that of standard products available from suppliers. The production of nickel hydroxide in handcrafted chemical reactor decreases the cost of nickel-zinc batteries. The reactor has already been evaluated in simulated conditions equivalent to high rate production, and scaling up the reactor is not expected to be a challenge.