Lithium Ion Batteries – UPSC Prelims

Lithium Ion Batteries:
  • A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery.
  • Lithium-ion battery is the most dominant battery system finding applications for variety of societal needs including handy consumer electronics goods such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras and many other portable consumer gadgets apart from industrial applications and aerospace.
  • Most of the current domestic demand is met by batteries imported from China, South Korea and Taiwan.
  • The Li ion cell production initiative is part of Central Government’s plan to achieve 100% EVs in the country by 2030.
  • Why in news? ISRO’s rocket sciences arm Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) has decided to transfer its own in-house lithium ion (Li ion) cell technology to successful Indian industries and start-ups.
Benefits of Li-Ion battery
  • It is light weighted and is one-third the weight of lead acid batteries. It is nearly 100% efficient in both charging and discharging as compared to lead battery which has 70% efficiency.
  • It completely discharges i.e. 100% as compared to 80% for lead acid. It has life cycle of 5000 times or more compared to just 400-500 cycles in lead acid.
  • It also maintains constant voltage throughout entire discharge cycle whereas voltage in lead acid battery drops consistently throughout its discharge cycle.
  • It is much cleaner technology and is safer for environment as it does not have environmental impact as lead acid battery.
  • It can power any electrical application without the need of physical wires-means wireless

Disadvantages of Li-ion Batteries:
  • Long charging times.
  • Weak energy density.
  • Safety issues as instances of batteries catching fires have been there.
  • Expensive to manufacture.
  • While the Li-ion batteries are seen as sufficiently efficient for applications such as phones and laptops, in case of EVs, these cells still lack the range that would make them a viable alternative to internal combustion engines.
NOTE : Lithium is also used as a drug to treat bipolar disorder and is soon becoming the metal to treat a world polluted by excessive carbon emissions.