What distinguishes lithium-ion batteries from lead-acid batteries?

There are several battery kinds that can be recharged than lithium-ion batteries. Among them, lead-acid batteries have been around for more than a century, and despite the development of new batteries like lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries are still utilized in cars today.

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Lead-acid versus lithium-ion battery differences

Compared to lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries are significantly less expensive to build since lead is used for both the cathode and the anode. The batteries themselves are hefty, though, as lead is a heavier metal than other metals. Additional drawbacks include the significant self-discharge and the fact that the voltage may only be raised to 2 V.

Why there are still lead-acid batteries in use

Nevertheless, high-performance secondary batteries like lithium-ion batteries are not used to replace car batteries since they are simply more affordable and more dependable due to their reliance on technology that is now essentially well-established. These features of lead-acid batteries are utilized by automobiles, and a technique for recycling them has been established. Because lead-acid batteries are currently functioning well enough, manufacturers don’t want to spend further money on lead-acid battery replacements, which would require rethinking everything from the circuit design.

On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries are already widely employed as backup batteries in hybrid and electric car motors. Therefore, it’s possible that in the future lead-acid batteries won’t even be found in standard cars.

Which industries employ lithium-ion batteries?

Video cameras were made lighter and smaller with the help of lithium-ion batteries, which were initially made available for purchase in consumer items in the early 1990s. Following that, demand swiftly increased as manufacturer after manufacturer used them for mobile phones, which were becoming more and more popular at the time. Nowadays, lithium-ion batteries are utilized in a wide range of products that we use on a daily basis, such as computers, smartphones, electric cars, and electric bicycles.

Which lithium-ion batteries are the safest?

Batteries are designed with the concept that they are essentially bottled energy. Compared to other battery types, lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density per unit volume, hence safety precautions must be taken. Furthermore, they must be handled with greater caution than conventional batteries that employ an aqueous solution since they use a combustible organic solvent.

Preventing an internal short circuit is the most crucial thing to do. When an external force deforms the battery and the cathode and anode come into direct contact, it might result in an internal short circuit. A serious accident might result from the temperature rising and the battery igniting when the current concentrates at this connection. The interior workings of a battery can get contaminated by even the tiniest contaminants, leading to an internal short circuit. Therefore, in order to avoid an excessive current from flowing in the battery, it is important to include an accident prevention device, such as a protective circuit.

Furthermore, it is crucial to regulate the battery’s internal temperature. This may be achieved, for example, by utilizing a cooling mechanism to maintain the battery usage environment at or below 60°C. Many strategies have been proposed to increase safety. For example, when the temperature surpasses a certain point, the separator—a membrane that divides the cathode from the anode—will totally seal off the area between the two.