Lithium-Ion, or Li-Ion batteries are used in many applications, but most commonly in the electronics industry. Li-Ion batteries provide portable electricity, powering electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Li-Ion batteries are also used to supply energy to medical equipment, electric vehicles and power tools.
Lithium is the primary source for Li-Ion battery packs as it is more stable and safer in charging and discharging energy compared to other minerals. Aside from the electronics industry, lithium is a staple mineral in mining, manufacturing, energy storage and many others. Due to its many industry uses, lithium prices and supply may experience surges and dips, which are critical information for companies that utilize lithium in their products and services.
Li-Ion Battery Composition
Li-Ion batteries come in different types, but they are generally made up of the following components:
- Cathode or the positive electrode: Source of lithium ions that determines the batteries capacity and voltage
- Anode or the negative electrode: Section that stores and releases ions through an external unit
- Electrolyte: Medium that transports ions between the cathode and anode
- Separator: Barrier that prevents the cathode and anode from coming in contact with each other
These major components need to be present in a Li-Ion battery in order to function properly.
Portable Power Packs
As mentioned above, rechargeable li-ion batteries provide portable electricity that powers electronics gadgets. Li-ion batteries are lightweight and can be made smaller than other battery types which makes them convenient to carry around.
Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)
Li-ion batteries provide emergency back-up power in case of power loss or fluctuation. Office equipment like computers, as well as IT servers, need to keep running in case of power interruption to prevent data loss. Back-up power is also needed in the medical or health care industry to guarantee consistent power supply to life-saving medical equipment.
The automotive industry poses a demand for li-ion battery packs to provide power source for electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. As li-ion battery can store large amounts of energy and can be recharged many times, they offer better charging capacity and longer lifespan.
Li-ion batteries continue to emerge as an alternative to gasoline and lead-acid batteries in powering work or tug boats and leisure boats like speed boats and yachts. Li-ion batteries provide quiet and efficient power source and can also be used to provide electricity to appliances inside the boat or yacht while it is on dock.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in wheelchairs, bikes, scooters and other mobility aids for individuals with disability or mobility restrictions. Unlike cadmium and lead batteries, lithium-ion batteries contain no chemicals that may cause further harm to a person’s health.
Solar Energy Storage
Li-ion batteries are also used for storing solar energy in solar panels as they can be charged quickly. They are lighter, more compact and can hold higher amounts of energy compared to lead acid batteries.
The above applications are just a few of the many uses of lithium-ion batteries. As lithium-ion batteries are compact, portable and equipped with fast-charging and great storage capacity, the demand for lithium-ion batteries remains or may even increase in the future.