Types of Lithium Battery

Lithium batteries are batteries that use lithium metal or lithium alloy as the anode material and use a non-aqueous electrolyte solution. The difference between lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries is that the former is a primary battery and the latter is a rechargeable battery. Because the chemical properties of lithium metal are very active, the processing, preservation and use of lithium metal have very high environmental requirements. So lithium batteries have not been used for a long time.With the development of microelectronics technology at the end of the 20th century, the number of miniaturized equipment is increasing day by day, and high requirements are put forward for power supply, and lithium batteries have entered a large-scale practical stage.

The History of Lithium Battery

In 1800, an Italian physicist and chemical named Alessandro Volta invented the first electric pile that was recongnized as the forerunner of the modern battery. In 1817, a Swedish chemist named Johan Arfwedson discovered lithium by isolating it as a salt. In 1912, lithium battery research began with the experiments of an American chemist, Gilbert Newton Lewis. Lithium-ion battery research in the 1970s and 1980s continued to demonstrate improvements with the discovery of rechargeablr lithium cells using lithium cobalt oxide cathodes and the graphite anode.

In 1991, Sony and Asahi Kasei launched the frst commercial lithium-on battery, Lithium-on battery technology progressed in 1997 with a more stable polymerbased solution to ensure thermal stablty. In 2002, scientists developed the ftrst-ever laminated lithium-on batteries for portable devices ike cameras, laptops, phones, and tablets. Lithium-on batteries continue to evolve for small and large capacity requirements by becoming cleaner, safer, and lighter.

M. Stanley Whitingham, a British-American chemist, Akira Yoshino a Japanese chemist and John B. Coodenough, an American materials scientist and a solid-state physicist, were co-awarded the Nobe Prize for chemistry in 2019 for the development of the ithium-on battery. Their work was instrumental in heralding anera of wireless electronics. You can enjoy this podcast on the lithium-ion pioneer-John B. Goodenough-also known as the “father of the lithium-ion battery.

Types of Lithium Battery

According to different anode matterials of lithium batteries, lithium battereis can be simply divided into three parts: LCO Battery, LFP Battery and Ternary Lithium Battery.

LCO Battery

⊕Characteristics at a Quick Glance
⊕High energy density
⊕Limited specific power
⊕Low thermal stability
⊕Shorten lifespan

Lithium cobalt oxide is the first generation of commercial cathode material, which has been gradually modified and improved in decades of development, and can be considered the most mature cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.Lithium cobalt oxide has the advantages of high discharge platform, high specific capacity, good cycle performance, and simple synthesis process.However, the material contains highly toxic cobalt and the price is high, making it difficult to guarantee the safety of large-scale power batteries.Lithium cobalt oxide is still the best choice for small lithium batteries.At present, in 3C electronic batteries, most of them still use lithium cobalt oxide instead of ternary materials with higher specific capacity. The reason is that the compaction density of lithium cobalt oxide materials is greater than that of ternary materials, that is, more lithium cobalt oxide can be accommodated per unit volume.Among small batteries that pay more attention to bulk density, lithium cobalt oxide occupies a place.

LFP Battery
Lithium iron phosphate is currently one of the cathode materials that has attracted widespread attention. Its main characteristics are that it does not contain harmful elements, low cost, very good safety, and has a cycle life of up to 10,000 times. These characteristics make lithium iron phosphate materials quickly become a hot topic in research, and lithium iron phosphate batteries are also widely used in the field of electric vehicles.The disadvantages of lithium iron phosphate are also more obvious, that is, the energy density is low, lower than that of lithium cobalt oxide and ternary batteries.Therefore, lithium iron phosphate batteries are mainly used in electric buses and a small number of passenger cars.

Ternary Lithium Battery

NCA( Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide) Battery and NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) Battery are typical ternary lithium batteries. Ternary materials are commonly known as lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese oxides with a structure very similar to lithium cobalt oxide. This material can be balanced and regulated in terms of specific energy, cyclicality, safety and cost.An increase in nickel content will increase the capacity of the material, but will deteriorate the cycle performance; the presence of cobalt can make the material structure more stable, but the content is too high will reduce the capacity; the presence of manganese can reduce costs and improve safety performance, but the content is too high will destroy the layered structure of the material.Therefore, finding the proportional relationship between the three materials to optimize the overall performance is the focus of the research and development of ternary materials.

Overall, lithium cobalt oxide is suitable for small lithium batteries. Lithium iron phosphate batteries are safe, have a long life, and are high temperature resistant; ternary lithium batteries are light in weight, high in charging efficiency, and low in temperature resistance, so they have their own characteristics.

According to the application field: the difference between energy storage batteries, power batteries and consumer batteries.

Consumer lithium-ion batteries are mainly used in consumer electronic products such as mobile phones, portable computers, digital cameras, digital video cameras, mobile power supplies, electric toys, etc., the so-called “3C products” lithium battery cells and modules, the main forms are divided into cylindrical, square and soft pack, batteries.Due to the high volume requirements of consumer lithium batteries and therefore high energy density, lithium cobalt oxide and ternary materials are more used as positive electrodes.

Power Battery Energy Storage Battery
Application Mainly used in electric vehicles, electric bicycles and other power tools Mainly used for peak adjustment and frequency modulation power auxiliary services, renewable energy grid-connected, microgrid
Performance requirements As a mobile power supply, there are high requirements for energy density and power density. Most energy storage devices do not need to be moved, so there is no direct requirement for energy density for energy storage device batteries. Energy storage scenarios with different power densities have different requirements.In terms of battery materials, attention needs to be paid to the expansion rate, energy density, uniformity of electrode material properties, etc., in order to pursue the long life and low cost of the entire energy storage equipment.
Cycle Life The number of cycles of the power lithium battery has a life span of 1000-2000 times The cycle life of energy storage lithium batteries generally requires more than 3500 times

According to the outer packaging material: the difference between lithium aluminum shell, lithium steel shell and soft-packed lithium battery

Since soft-packed lithium batteries are packaged in aluminum-plastic film, soft-packed lithium batteries generally do not explode in the presence of safety hazards, and only bulge or crack.It is about 20% lighter than aluminum-shell batteries, and about 5~10% higher than the capacity of aluminum-shell batteries.In addition, soft-packed lithium batteries have small internal resistance and longer cycle life, which are more suitable for portable applications with high space or thickness requirements, such as 3C consumer electronics products.

Aluminum shell lithium battery has high specific strength, specific modulus, fracture toughness, fatigue strength and corrosion resistance stability. Because of the low-density characteristics of aluminum alloy materials, non-magnetic, stable alloys have less resistance to magnetic fields at low temperatures, good air tightness, and fast attenuation of inductive radiation. It has been widely used in aviation, aerospace, high-speed trains, machinery manufacturing, transportation and chemical industry.

The physical stability and pressure resistance of steel shell lithium batteries are much higher than that of aluminum shell materials. After the design structure of various manufacturers has been optimized, the safety device has been placed inside the battery cell. The safety of steel-shell column lithium batteries has reached a new level. At present, most of the batteries of notebook computer batteries use steel shells as carriers.