Surging Electric Vehicles Sales Resulting in High Demand for Lithium and Lithium Ion Battery Electrolytes

Battery Electrolytes
Battery Electrolytes

High energy density and lightweight lithium-ion or Li-ion batteries are used in different fields from small machinery and IT devices to electric tools. They belong to a group of batteries that generate electrical energy by converting chemical energy via redox reactions on the active materials. They also have the greatest electrochemical potential and have well-defined energy per weight.

Lithium and lithium ion battery electrolytes are considered to a step taken towards resolving challenges posed by gasoline-dependent fuel sources. This is one of the key factors leading to their increasing application in electric vehicles. The rising demand for vehicles with lesser weight and greater fuel-efficiency will pave way for increasing installation of lithium ion battery electrolytes in the near future.

Types of lithium-ion batteries

  • Lithium Cobalt Oxide, LCO: Batteries consisting of lithium cobalt oxide are made of cobalt and lithium carbonate. The energy level is very high in combination with a high level of defence. The anode limits battery life by changing the solid interface and by thickening the anode. The characteristics of these batteries make them popular among mobile phones and other portable electronic devices. One of the disadvantages of the LCO battery is its current charging and discharge ability.
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery, LFP: These batteries use phosphate as a cathode. They also provide low internal resistance and high current capability. They have a long lifecycle and durability. This kind of li-ion battery uses a nanoscale phosphate cathode material to provide its high current capacity. Motorcycles and other electric vehicles use these batteries as well.
  • Lithium Manganese Oxide, LMO: Lithium Manganese Oxide, LiMn2O4, is used as cathode material for this kind of battery. They have a nickel, manganese, and cobalt hybrid cathode. They are structured to permit high currents to pass, and also provide very high current levels to be fast-charged as well. They improve the thermal stability and improves the safety of the cell. This form of battery is mostly used in automotive control tools and powertrains.
  • Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide, NCA: These batteries are important for powertrains and storage in the grid. It has a good service life, high power, and high-density figures. They are mostly used in the automotive industry. Even though they provide a high-energy option, they aren’t safe and are quite costly.
  • Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide, NMC: These batteries use a cathode comprising of a combination of nickel, manganese, and cobalt. They can be high-specific energy densities or high specified capacity, as other lithium-ion battery types. This form of battery is most used in automotive control tools and powertrains. They have high specific energy but weak stability, Nickel is known for its low internal resistance, but at the expense of low specific power.

 Components of Lithium-Ion Battery

 Li-ion batteries consist of mainly four components:

  •  Cathode
  •  Anode
  •  Electrolyte
  •  Separator.

Lithium batteries cannot function without the components that are mentioned above. 

Advantages of Lithium-Ion Batteries

  • Lithium-ion batteries have one of the highest energy densities of any battery technology as of today. They can deliver up to 3.6 Volts, 3 times higher than other technologies.
  • They also don’t require high maintenance and are not required to schedule cycling to maintain their battery life.
  • They are used to power electrical systems for some aerospace applications, where weight is an important cost factor. 
  • They last for five years or longer, which is longer than the lead battery that lasts only two years. 
  • Lithium can load and discharge highly for all kinds of applications, providing maximum diversity. Fast charge reduces downtime and the high lithium discharge rate is perfect for an explosion of power.
  • Lithium provides less than half the weight and size of the same or greater energy compared to other battery chemicals which makes them more flexible and easier to install.

Lithium-ion Battery Electrolytes Application Projected to Surge

The demand for lithium and lithium-ion electrolyte batteries is projected to grow significantly considering the launch of new lithium-ion electrolytes and the increasing use of these batteries in various electronic equipment. The demand will be considerably high in the U.K., as the country makes headways in electronic vehicle production.

Within Asia Pacific, China in particular will continue exhibiting high demand. Some of the key elements of the lithium-ion battery are electrolytes, aluminium foil, copper foil, anode, and cathode.

DISADVANTAGES OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES

  • Lithium ion batteries suffer from ageing. They age even when they are not in use. Despite the usage, there is a time limit element to the reduction in capacity. It is dependent on the number of charge discharge cycles that the battery has undergone.
  • A key disadvantage is also their cost. Typically they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel Cadmium cells.
  • They have low self-discharge. Although partially discharged the overall integrity of this battery continues.
  • Lithium batteries may explode when overheated. This is because gases formed by electrolyte decomposition increases the internal pressure of the cell.

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CONCLUSION Technology is constantly evolving and new lithium-ion technologies are replacing the existing ones. The demand for lithium ion battery electrolyte is expected to surge amid the increasing sales of electric vehicles. With countries around the world focusing on ways of reducing carbon footprint, they are expected to look for technologies that will allow them to save energy. This will in turn create an environment conducive for increase in lithium ion batteries sales