The history of battery science is filled with short circuits, explosions—and, occasionally, tales of redemption. One of these is the story of the lithium-iron-phosphate battery.
LFP, as it’s known, (the “F” refers to the Latin name for iron) was discovered as a good battery material in the University of Texas lab of John Goodenough. He was (and is, at 99) a legendary battery scientist, best known for designing the cathode—the crystal structure that catches and releases lithium ions as the battery charges and gets used—that led to the first commercial lithium-ion battery in 1991. LFP, coming a few years after that, seemed to have many advantages over its predecessor. The
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