What is nickel sulphate?

Nickel sulphate is the key material used to produce precursor materials (cathodes) for lithium-ion batteries.

The lithium-ion battery’s make up has three primary components: anode, cathode and electrolyte. While there are various formulas for the lithium-ion battery, one of the more common comprises graphite in the anode, lithium as the electrolyte and the cathode which includes nickel, cobalt and manganese.

 

EV battery chemistry trending
towards high nickel content

Not all nickel supply is suitable for manufacturing battery cathodes. In fact, only 49% of 2017 nickel supply from sulfide and limonite deposits, is suitable for this purpose.

There is a growing shift towards high-grade nickel content EV batteries as they provide superior energy density and increased range.

Tesla’s Model S vehicle battery currently has a cathode comprising 80% nickel, 15% cobalt and 5% aluminium. Other manufacturers are increasing the nickel component in cathodes, with analysts forecasting nickel will account for 80% of the cathode material in most newer batteries by 2020.