What is a Lithium Ion battery?
A lithium-ion battery (Li-ion) is a rechargeable type of battery commonly used in portable electronic devices such as cameras, smartphones, laptops, e-bikes and e-scooters. It is also used in electric vehicles, power tools, and other applications that require a high-energy density rechargeable battery.
The key component of the cells is the lithium-ion, which is an ion that moves between the two electrodes (anode and cathode) during the charge and discharge process. The anode is typically made of carbon, while the cathode is made of lithium cobalt oxide, lithium iron phosphate, or other materials.
During charging, the lithium-ion moves from the cathode to the anode through the electrolyte, which is a non-conductive liquid or gel. During discharge, the lithium-ion moves from the anode back to the cathode, producing an electric current that can power a device.
Lithium-ion batteries are popular because they have a high energy density, meaning they can store a lot of energy in a small space. They are also relatively lightweight, have a long cycle life, and have a low self-discharge rate when not in use. However, they can be sensitive to high temperatures, overcharging, and physical damage, which can cause them to degrade or even catch fire.
As battery technology has matured, cells, like the Li-Ion 18650, that were once reserved for device manufacturers, have found their way into consumer hands. However, these new lithium cells have not been standardized quite like the rechargeable AAs you'll find in the supermarket.