Li-ion Cobalt Battery
The Lithium-ion battery is rechargeable and thus a common feature in almost all of contemporary consumer electronic devices. Lead has been the metal of choice in battery manufacturing but its main disadvantage has been that it is one of the heaviest metals on earth. The demand for portable electronic devices brought about the need for lighter batteries which led to the evolution of the Lithium ion battery. Lithium is not only light but it is also highly reactive such that it cannot be found in its pure state (Oswal, Paul and Zhao, 2010). Lithium is sourced from the mining of Lithium based salts.
A common Lithium battery is composed of cells which have three basic parts, the positive electrode, the electrolyte and the negative electrode. The positive electrode is either made of Lithium ion Phosphate or lithium Cobalt oxide. Graphite, a common form of Carbon is used to make the negative electrode (Oswal, Paul and Zhao, 2010). The electrolyte is what causes the differences in the Lithium batteries available in the market today. However, it is worth noting that all Lithium-ion batteries work on the same basic principle.
When a Lithium-ion battery is being charged, the positive electrode emits Lithium ions which flow through the electrolyte to the negative electrode in which they are absorbed. This is the process with which the Lithium ion battery stores electrical energy. When the battery is in use it discharges the stored electrical energy in a process which is opposite with regard to the charging process. The Lithium ions stored in the carbon compound which is the negative electrode flow through the electrolyte towards the positive electrode, a process through which electrical energy released thus powering the device connected to the battery.
The movement of electrons is what causes the electrical current necessary to power electronic devices connected to the battery. The flow of electron is always opposite to that of the Lithium ions and is at the outer parts of the cells. These movements are interdependent on each other (Brodd and Kozawa, 2009). The electrolyte deters the flow of electrons and therefore acts as a barrier. It is also important to note that Lithium-ion batteries have inbuilt electronic controllers which serve to regulate the charging and discharging process such that overheating or overcharging does not occur.
Lithium-ion Cobalt batteries are commonly referred to as high powered Lithium-ion batteries as they possess a much higher energy density concentration compared to other battery types in their family. The cathode in this case, is made of Cobalt oxide and are commonly rated as 3.6V which is three times more than other rechargeable batteries NICD cell which bears a voltage of 1.2 (Oswal, Paul and Zhao, 2010).
The manufacture of Lithium Cobalt ion batteries heavily automated due to the high demand for such batteries by portable electronic devices manufacturers as well as their consumers. Automation guarantees safety, quality, quantity and production speeds. The process begins with the production of a Lithium-ion Cobalt oxide paste which makes up the positive electrode. This paste is applied on both sides of an aluminium foil (Brodd and Kozawa, 2009). The second step of this process is the preparation of a graphite paste to act as the anode. This paste is applied on both sides of a copper foil. A polymer based film is then used as a separator and is inserted between the anode and the cathode. These are then rolled into a cylindrical shape and inserted into a cylindrical housing. The electrolyte is then put in to fill the cylindrical cell. In this case the electrolyte used is composed of Lithium salts. Lastly the cell contacts are connected and the cell sealed.
Brodd, R. J. and Kozawa, A., 2009. Lithium-Ion Batteries: Science and Technologies. New York: Springer.
Oswal, M., Paul, J. and Zhao, R., 2010. A comparative study of Lithium-Ion Batteries. University of Southern Carlifornia [pdf] Available at < http://www-scf.usc.edu/~rzhao/LFP_study.pdf> [Accessed 25 February 2013].
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