With the rapid trend of cultural shift, everything is getting more advance and upfront. The trend is also touched the regular use of batteries by bringing more advancement regarding their material. Lithium-ion batteries have been the choice of interest for every commercial and local electric automotive need. The high energy density of lithium battery technology makes this kind of battery more popular and prominent. To understand the importance of lithium batteries, now people want to know more about lithium battery material to understand the potential hazard level, if there is any. This article summarizes all the relevant information that is needed to know about lithium batteries and their material.
What is Lithium Battery?
The concept of lithium-ion batteries has become the ultimate battery choice compared to other nickel-based batteries and lead-acid batteries. The concept of rechargeable lithium batteries was introduced very first in the early 1970s and become commercially available after that in the 1980s. But this attempt somehow gets failed because of the potential instabilities in the lithium metal batteries. This might be due to the use of anode material in them.
With the gradual advancement in technology, now lithium batteries have more demand in the electric and semi-electric vehicles and automotive industry. Lithium-ion batteries have potential growth in the market, more significant in hybrid and all portable electric devices. The high durability and low recharge cycle increase the importance of lithium batteries. The integration of lithium batteries into portable devices become popular due to many reliable facts, including low power density, enhanced safety, and reduced cost of the material.
Lithium Battery Technology
Lithium is one of the lightest metal compared to all other metals. This specific aspect of lithium made it powerful electrochemical potential and provide the most considerable specific energy per weight of this metal. Rechargeable lithium batteries, when having anode in the material, cause extraordinarily elevated energy densities. Still, it is also linked with the potential risk of electric short due to the unwanted production of dendrites n the process of cycling. This use of anode in the lithium batteries would also cause the high risk of venting with the flame, which occurs because the cell temperature rises quickly and quickly reaches the melting point of lithium.
Lithium-ion batteries usually use positive and negative electrodes; the lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode via the electrolyte. The whole process of lithium-ion movement becomes reverse during the process of charging. Traditionally for the more safe option, now lithium is used as the positive electrode, while graphite is used as a negative electrode in the lithium battery. The lithium-ion instead of lithium metal in the lithium batteries was revised because of a safe, non-metallic solution. However, lithium-ion has a lower potential of specific energy than lithium metal. Still, it is the most effective approach according to the battery packers regarding the safety measures. Lithium-ion batteries provide a clear advantage compared to the other cell chemistries, including lead-acid.
How does Lithium-ion Batteries Work?
Li-ion batteries are one of the most upfront approaches to battery technology system. The use of lithium-ion is an important part due to its high time electro chemistry. During the process of recharge, the lithium atoms get ionized and separated from their electrons. These ions moved from the anode and reached the cathode bypassing the field of electrolyte. The ion reached the cathode and, combined with its electrons and result in electrical neutralization. Lithium-ion batteries hold a micro permeable membrane between the anode and cathode, but lithium ions are small enough to pass through that separator membrane. The important aspect of lithium-ion batteries is that they can have high voltage and possess a high charge storage per unit volume and per unit mass.
Types of Lithium Batteries
Like the other batteries, i.e. nickel-based batteries, lithium-ion batteries also use a positive electrode known as cathode, a negative electrode known as anode, and a field of electrolyte known as a conductor in its packing material. The positive electrode is a metal oxide, while the negative electrode holds the porous carbon. Lithium-ion batteries have various types, although the basic concept of all batteries is the same. Some of the important and reliable lithium batteries include;
- Lithium Cobalt Oxide, LCO
- Lithium Titanate, LT
- Lithium Manganese oxide, LMO,
- Lithium Iron Phosphate, LIO
- Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide, LNMCO
- Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide, LNCAO
- All of the lithium-ion batteries hold some variations regarding their cathode, anode, and storage configuration. This affects the battery strength and its designs.
Lithium Battery Materials
Lithium batteries contain a compelling variety of material based on their type and storage configuration. All of the types of lithium-ion batteries hold their own key drive component in the battery. Each type of battery contain its own impact and provide specific battery storage and energy density values. There are different types of lithium battery materials in the market that companies use to packing and designing lithium batteries. Some of the widely used and economically more important lithium battery materials include the following;
- Binders – PVDF and SBR.
- Cathode Foils – Aluminum
- Anode Foils – Nickel and Copper.
- Packaging material – pouches, cases, cans, and tabs
- Battery Grade Lithium – mainly used are LiOH and Li2 Co3
- Cathode active materials – mostly effective materials are LFP, LCO, LMO, etc
- Anode active material – mostly used are graphite, graphene and LTO batteries electrolyte – mostly used electrolyte is lithium hexafluorophosphate also known as LiPF6
Lithium Battery Anatomy and Conventional Material
The essential component of the lithium battery, also known as the basic anatomy, consists of two electrodes. One is positively known as cathode +, and the other is harmful, known as anode -. The following important part of the lithium battery is a conductive electrolyte and a micro-permeable separate between the two electrodes. Lithium ions migrate from one electrode to the other by passing through that separator. The process of movement may be reversed during the charging process. As described earlier, cathode material also holds a great variety, and so does the anode and electrolyte materials. Depending on the specific mix of these materials, different lithium batteries have been packed and created.
The material of lithium batteries has been developed over the years due to the prime need of the enhanced battery capacity, retention capacity cycle, enhanced safety, effectively and approachable cost etc., by the modification of materials of electrode and electrode thickness, battery capacity and cost has been revised and improved. The improvement of safety and retention capacity addressed with the improvement of electrolyte materials. The electrolyte material for the lithium batteries could be available in different forms, including liquid, get and dry polymers. Typically electrolyte materials for lithium-ion batteries are consist of salt, acids and bases. Highly concentrated aqueous ionic liquids, including 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, hold the prime advantage of low cost and effective, fast ionic movement.
Cathode material holds significant importance not only because of its electrochemical properties but also according to the performance and cost. Typically cathode materials hold three structure types, including layered, spinal, and olivine. All of the material could be choose while packing according to the cost, efficiency, and reliability. The use of an anode also depends on its efficiency and cost; in Lithium-ion batteries, carbon, graphite, used as the first anode used in the material in the LIB. This has been in use till today since its first-time invention but has low working potential and cycle life.
Advantages of Lithium-ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are the most prominent battery choice from various industries. It is the best choice for full and hybrid electric vehicles and devices. Lithium batteries are the prime important component in the automotive industry due to the high reliability, low-risk factors and cost-effective facts. Currently, lithium-ion battery technology is the best performing technology regarding battery energy storage. This is the prime fact in the popularity of lithium batteries from the small electronics, including smartphones, laptops and drones, to the large scale electric devices, including vehicle and automotive industries. Some of the best advantages of lithium batteries are as follow;
- Lithium-ion batteries provide high energy density.
- Low requirement of prolonged charging batteries.
- It offers a low discharge rate compared to the other batteries.
- It does not require high maintenance and long period discharge.
- Can provide high current to power tools application.
Future of Lithium-ion Batteries
After years of research on the effectiveness of lithium batteries, now we are in the improved stage regarding the energy density, life cycle and efficiency in integration into the different devices and electric vehicles. But still, there is a high time of improvement is needed regarding safety management. According to the researchers, it is possible to elevate the energy density of these lithium-ion batteries. Further development in technology is the need regarding the potential power supply system and future energy sustainability. The use of lithium-ion batteries has created so much reliability in the various fields of life, more importantly in the automotive industry and other portable electric devices.