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Brazil has developed a revolutionary new technology in niobium batteries that is transforming the electric car market

Written by Noel Budeguer
Published 23/06/2024 às 21:59
batteries - niobium batteries - niobium - electric vehicles -
Brazil has developed a revolutionary new technology in niobium batteries that is transforming the electric car market

Find out how Brazil is leading innovation in niobium batteries for electric vehicles. Discover the benefits, technology and why they are the future of energy storage

Niobium, identified by the symbol Nb, is a chemical element found in group 5 of the periodic table. It has atomic number 41 and atomic mass of 92,9. Discovered in 1801 by English chemist Charles Hatchett, niobium was initially called columbium (Cb). However, it was later renamed to niobium by the international community. Niobium has the unique ability of transforming the properties of other materials, making it valuable in various industries, such as battery production.

Niobium is used in a wide variety of applications, including cars, aircraft turbines, MRI devices, pacemaker instruments, rockets and electronic components. It is mainly used in special alloys, where it is mixed with other metals such as steel, titanium or copper to increase the mechanical strength of the final product. One example is the use of niobium in gas pipeline tubes, where it significantly increases their resistance. Despite its versatility, demand for niobium is limited due to its specific applications.

Innovative technology using niobium

Brazil, with almost 98% of the world's niobium reserves, has developed an innovative technology using niobium in batteries. This innovation could revolutionize the energy storage market and bring significant benefits to the country. By adding value to the raw material and exporting a technological product instead, Brazil aims to improve the niobium extraction and production chain.

Niobium has several advantageous properties, including high thermal and electrical conductivity, ductility, malleability, and resistance to heat, wear, and corrosion. These characteristics allow niobium to improve the physical properties of other materials, making them more efficient. In the mobility sector, niobium allows the development of smarter and stronger materials, resulting in lighter and more technologically advanced products. Additionally, niobium helps resolve engineering challenges, leading to the optimization of materials and structures.

Niobium is used in a wide variety of applications, including cars, aircraft turbines, MRI devices, pacemaker instruments, rockets, and electronic components.

The collaboration: Volkswagen trucks and buses (VWCO) and CBMM

Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, in partnership with CBMM (Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração), was a pioneer in the development and manufacture of niobium-based batteries for electric vehicles. This collaboration aims to elevate Brazil's position in the automotive industry by introducing innovative battery technology. One of the advantages of the Brazilian niobium battery is its record charging time of up to six minutes, allowing electric cars to be charged as quickly as fueling a combustion car.

Niobium battery technology developed by VWCO and CBMM replaces graphite with niobium in batteries, reducing their size by half compared to conventional batteries. However, the energy density of niobium batteries is lower, resulting in shorter vehicle range. To support this technology, a specific charging infrastructure needs to be implemented to take advantage of fast charging capabilities. Although battery life may be shorter, studies show that niobium battery packs can last nearly 20 years and up to 10.000 cycles, significantly outperforming typical lithium-ion batteries.

Niobium has several advantageous properties, including high thermal and electrical conductivity, ductility, malleability, and resistance to heat, wear, and corrosion.

Find out everything about niobium batteries

Advantages of Niobium Batteries

In addition to extended battery life and a high number of cycles, niobium batteries offer greater safety. Unlike other batteries, niobium batteries do not degrade in extreme temperatures, reducing the risk of fire incidents. Imagine driving an electric car powered by a Brazilian niobium battery, knowing that you can fully charge it in just six minutes and enjoy a safer, longer-lasting energy storage solution.

The development of niobium batteries represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and efficient energy storage market. By taking advantage of Brazil's abundant niobium reserves, VWCO and CBMM have set an important precedent for the country's economy. With additional advancements and investment, niobium batteries could become a game-changer in the renewable energy and electric vehicle industries. In conclusion, niobium batteries have tremendous potential for the future of energy storage. With their unique properties and advantages, they offer a convincing solution for various applications. As Brazil continues to lead in niobium extraction and technology development, the world awaits widespread adoption of this innovative battery technology.

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Noel Budeguer

Of Argentine nationality, I am a news writer and specialist in the field. I cover topics such as science, oil, gas, technology, the automotive industry, renewable energy and all trends in the job market.

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