Asanda Ntlauzana MSc


Asanda Ntlauzana received a National Diploma Certificate in Analytical Chemistry in 2007 and a B-Tech in Chemistry at Walter Sisulu University in East London, South Africa in the Eastern Cape Province.  Her interests grew to continue her studies focusing on Nano- Technologies when she attended a series of lectures given by experts from the University of the Western Cape while still pursuing her B-tech.  She then decided to do a Masters Degree at the University of the Western Cape in Fuel Cell technology, particularly on Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) Cathode Material.  After successfully completing her MSc, she started her PhD at the University of the Western Cape in March 2009.

Her PhD work focuses on the Development of Low Cost Cathode Material that possesses high thermal stability and capacities for Lithium Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles applications.  The focus of the study is on the LiNi1/3Co1/3Mn1/3O2 material due to its low cost, high voltage, rate capabilities, long life cycle and safety for use in Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).  This material was first proposed by Ohzuku et al. as a high voltage cathode material (discharging around 4.0 V vs. Li) with capacities greater than 200 mA h/g in the range of 2 to 4.6 V with negligible capacity loss.  The synthesis of LiNi(1-x-y)CoxMnyO2  compounds is usually carried out by a modified mixed-hydride approach, in which Ni(1-x-y)CoxMny(OH)2 reacts with Lithium salt in the air at high temperature.

As reported in the literature, the addition of extra lithium, manganese, and charge-compensating oxygen into LiMn1/3Ni1/3Co1/3O2 results in the formation of Li2MnO3-like compounds that are incorporated into the structure of LiMn1/3Ni1/3Co1/3O2 components.  The presence of Li2MnO3 can stabilize the electrode structure and enhance the discharge capacity of the LiMn1/3Ni1/3Co1/3O2 by extracting the lithium concomitant with release of oxygen, to form a layered MnO2

To significantly enhance the production, physical and electrochemical properties, the cathode material may be modified by coating with a thin layer of inactive metal oxide, MOx.  The improved cycling performance and capacity retention of the coated material is thought to be successful in minimizing the side reactions within the battery by providing a protective layer between the electrolyte and the cathode during intercalation and de-intercalation processes.

Her work is carried out in collaboration with Bipolar Plate manufacturers including TEER Coatings Ltd, UK (part of Miba AG, Austria) who specializes in PVD coatings.

Conferences & Events Attended:

[1] International battery Association held in Cape Town at One & Only Hotel in 2011.


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