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Visualized: Inside a Lithium-Ion Battery

What’s Inside a Lithium-Ion Battery? Winning the Nobeand negozi adidas yeezy boost 350 turtle dove sito geox outlet geox outlet geox it saldi negozi geox più vicino negozi and geox donna saldi geox saldi 80 benetton outlet online harmont & blaine palermo sito ufficiale geox harmont & blaine gioie di gea l Prize for Chemistry in 2019, the lithium-ion battery has become ubiquitous and today powers nearly everything, from smartphones to electric vehicles.

In this graphic, we partnered with EnergyX to find out how these important pieces of technology work.

Looking Inside

Lithium-ion batteries have different standards in various regions, namely NMC/NMCA in Europe and North America and LFP in China. The former has a higher energy density, while the latter has a lower cost.

Here is the average mineral composition of a lithium-ion battery, after taking account those two main cathode types:

Material % of Construction
Nickel (Ni) 4%
Manganese (Mn) 5%
Lithium (Li) 7%
Cobalt (Co) 7%
Copper (Cu) 10%
Aluminum (Al) 15%
Graphite (C) 16%
Other Materials 36%

The percentage of lithium found in a battery is expressed as the percentage of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) the battery contains. On average, that is equal to 1g of lithium metal for every 5.17g of LCE.

How Do They Work?

Lithium-ion batteries work by collecting current and feeding it into the battery during charging. Normally, a graphite anode attracts lithium ions and holds them as a charge. But interestingly, recent research shows that battery energy density can nearly double when replacing graphite with a thin layer of pure lithium.

When discharging, the cathode attracts the stored lithium ions and funnels them to another current collector. The circuit can react as both the anode and cathode are prevented from touching and are suspended in a medium that allows the ions to flow easily.

Powering Tomorrow

Despite making up only 7% of a battery’s weight on average, lithium is so critical for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries that the U.S. Geological Survey has classified it as one of 35 minerals vital to the U.S. economy.

This means refining lithium more effectively is critical to meeting the demand for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

EnergyX is powering the clean energy transition with the next generation of lithium metal batteries with longer cycle life, greater energy density, and faster charging times.

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