Lithium Batteries In and Out

Lithium batteries are the most desirable batteries these days.  These are primary battery that has lithium as anode. They are used in laptops, cell phones and are very common in home electronic product. Lithium batteries are portable electronic bank with a high energy density, memory effect and low self discharge. A rechargeable lithium battery is made up of cells. Each cell has three components: a positive electrode, negative electrode and a chemical called an electrolyte. To understand it deeply, it is vital to have a look upon these component individually.

Positive electrode: A positive electrode is generally made from chemical compound called lithium-cobalt oxide (LiCoO2). But as we know change is a constant process and now the electrode has been upgraded to Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). Positive electrode is connected to the positive terminal of the battery.

Negative electrode: A negative electrode is typically made from carbon (graphite) and the electrolytes are different in different types of batteries.

Electrolyte: Electrolyte is a chemical medium that allows the flow of electrical charge between the positive and negative electrode. The electrolyte in lithium battery is a mixture of organic carbonates like ethylene carbonate or diethylene carbonate which contain complexes of lithium ion.

When the battery is charging up, the lithium ions from positive electrode (lithium -cobalt oxide) moves towards the negative graphite electrode. During this process, energy is stored in the battery. When any device is connected to battery ions from negative cathode moves to positive. In a rechargeable battery the chemical reactions are reversible. When battery is charging, the reaction goes in the opposite direction and battery absorbs power, while discharging the reaction goes in one way and battery gives output. The lithium battery can be charged very fast. It depends upon the charging amps you are providing to the battery. Lithium battery can be fully charged in just 30 minutes, if you can provide enough charging amps. The 15% charged lithium battery will give you nearly same output voltage as an 80% charged battery. Lithium battery provides the full rated capacity, even at high currents. It needs a low maintenance which is a great advantage and the self discharge of the battery is very less in comparison to other batteries. Lithium ion batteries are of different types. The six most common type of lithium battery are as follow:

Lithium -Cobalt Oxide: This type of battery are made up of cobalt oxide as cathode and a graphite carbon as anode. These are used for mobile phones, laptops and electronic cameras.

Lithium magnesium oxide: these types of battery are known for their high thermal stability. They are generally used in medical devices.

Lithium iron phosphate: these battery use phosphate as cathode. These batteries are generally used in bikes and other appliances that need a long life cycle.

Lithium nickel manganese -Cobalt Oxide:  these are made up combination of nickel, manganese and -Cobalt as cathode. These are used in Power tools and vehicles.

Lithium nickel -Cobalt aluminium oxide: These batteries provide a good life span and have high energy option. These types of batteries are used in automotive industry.

Lithium titanate: These types of batteries are generally used in storing wind and solar energy and also uses in military and aerospace.

Every technology has certain limitations so do the lithium ion battery. However as of today, it is the best option available for storing power. With the rapid change in technology soon we may have something better to replace the lithium ion batteries also.

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