5 Types of Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium Ion battery Types

5 Lithium Ion battery types

Types of Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium ion batteries occupy almost every household. Nearly everyone of us carries them in their cellphone. Their high energy density makes them portable and their rechargability makes them long lasting.  Lithium ion batteries  have made it possible to have aircrafts with only electric propulsion (e.g Solar Impulse aircraft). There is still along way to go before they replace the low cost lead acid batteries but research is underway across the globe.

The 5 types of Lithium ion batteries along with their properties are given below.

Lithium-Cobalt Oxide Battery

Used mostly in handheld electronics (Cell phones, Laptops and Cameras)
Risky especially when damaged
Cobalt is scarce and expensive
Low discharge rates
Highest energy density (110-190) Wh/kg

Lithium-Titanate Battery

Can operate at very low temp (-40°C)
Rapid charge and discharge
Used in Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Lower inherent voltage 2.4 V (compared to 3.7 V)
Lower energy density (30-110) Wh/kg

Lithium-Iron Phosphate Battery

Dramatically reduces the risks of overheating and fire.
Offers much less volumetric capacity
Used in power tools and medical equipment
Longer-life and inherently safe
Lower Energy Density (95-140) Wh/kg

Lithium-Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide Battery

Longer life and inherent safety
Cobalt is scarce and expensive
Less prone to heating
Used in Power tools, e-bikes and electric power trains
Lower energy density (95-130) Wh/kg

Lithium-Manganese Oxide Battery

Lower cost
Longer life and inherently safe
Used in Hybrid Vehicles, Cell phones, Laptops
High discharge rates
Lower energy density (110-120) Wh/kg

Contrary to the popular belief, there are many different types of lithium ion batteries. Five of them, that have been listed above are commercially established. There are many other Lithium chemistries (e.g Li-S) undergoing research.   It should be noted that each battery has different energy density, power density, reliability and safety. The different battery chemistries allow scientists to create batteries as per user’s requirement. Power density and energy density are inversely related and come at the cost of each other i.e. increase in power density results in a decrease in energy density and vice versa.

There are also other lithium battery chemistries that do not fall in the category of Lithium Ion. These include Lithium Sulphur, Lithium Air and Lithium Silicone. These technologies are still emerging but hold tremendous potential. For example Lithium Silicone battery developed in the lab has a energy density of 650 Wh/litre, which is twice as much as the currently available batteries.

Batteries can also be reconditioned.  It has been predicted that with Tesla’s Giga Factory going online, the production of Li-ion will ramp up. This could cause Lithium reserves to get scarce. As a result, reconditioning of batteries will become a lucrative business.

Click Here! For a course on battery reconditioning.

Also read

Types of Lithium Batteries used in EVs

Future of Lithium Ion Batteries

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