Lithium battery

Lithium battery

9 volt, AA, & AAA sizes
:"Lithium batteries are not to be confused with lithium-ion batteries which are high energy-density rechargeable batteries"Lithium batteries are disposable (primary) batteries that have lithium metal or lithium compounds as an anode. Depending on the design and chemical compounds used, lithium cells can produce voltages from 1.5 V to about 3.0 V, twice the voltage of an ordinary zinc-carbon battery or alkaline cell. Lithium batteries are widely used in products such as portable consumer electronic devices.


The term "lithium battery" refers to a family of different chemistries, comprising many types of cathodes and electrolytes. One type of lithium cell having a large energy density is the lithium-thionyl chloride cell. In this cell, a liquid mixture of thionyl chloride (SOCl2) and lithium tetrachloroaluminate (LiAlCl4) acts as the cathode and electrolyte respectively. A porous carbon material serves as a cathode current collector which receives electrons from the external circuit. However, lithium-thionyl chloride batteries are generally not sold to the consumer market, and find more use in commercial/industrial applications, or are installed into devices where no consumer replacement is performed. Lithium-thionyl chloride batteries are well suited to extremely low-current applications where long life is necessary, e.g. wireless alarm systems.

The most common type of lithium cell used in consumer applications uses metallic lithium as anode and manganese dioxide as cathode, with a salt of lithium dissolved in an organic solvent.


1st: Anode cup, upside down, spent lithium partially scratched off
2nd: Separator, a thin layer of porous material soaked with electrolyte - lithium salt in an organic solvent
3rd: Cathode, a tablet of manganese dioxide
4th: Cathode can, with current collector (carbon layer) on its bottom and a gasket around its inner edge. Damaged by clumsy opening attempt.]


The liquid organic electrolyte is usually a solution of an ion-forming inorganic lithium compound in a mixture of a high-permittivity solvent (eg. propylene carbonate) and a low-viscosity solvent (eg. dimethoxyethane).


Lithium batteries find application in many long-life, critical devices, such as artificial pacemakers and other implantable electronic medical devices. These devices use specialized lithium-iodide batteries designed to last 15 or more years. But for other, less critical, applications such as in toys, the lithium battery may actually outlast the toy. In such cases, an expensive lithium battery is not cost-efficient.

Lithium batteries can be used in place of ordinary alkaline cells in many devices, such as clocks and cameras. Although they are more costly, lithium cells will provide much longer life, thereby minimizing battery replacement. However, attention must be given to the higher voltage developed by the lithium cells before using them as a drop-in replacement in devices that normally use ordinary cells.

Small lithium batteries are very commonly used in small, portable electronic devices, such as PDAs, watches, thermometers, and calculators, as backup batteries in computers and communication equipment, and in remote car locks. They are available in many shapes and sizes, with a common variety being the 3 volt "coin" type manganese variety, typically 20 mm in diameter and 1.6–4 mm thick. The heavy electrical demands of many of these devices make lithium batteries a particularly attractive option. In particular, lithium batteries can easily support the brief, heavy current demands of devices such as digital cameras, and they maintain a higher voltage for a longer period than alkaline cells.

Some other lithium batteries use a platinum-iridium alloy instead of more usual compounds. These batteries are generally not preferred, as their cost is high and they tend to be fragile.

afety issues and regulation

Air Travel

The United States Transportation Security Administration announced restrictions effective January 1, 2008 on lithium batteries in checked and carry-on luggage. The rules forbid lithium batteries not installed in a device from checked luggage and restrict them in carry-on luggage by total lithium content. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Traveling Safe with Batteries | date= | publisher=Department of Transportation | url = | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-12-29 | language = ]

Rapid-discharge issues

Lithium batteries can provide extremely high currents and can discharge very rapidly when short-circuited. Although this is useful in applications where high currents are required, a too-rapid discharge of a lithium battery can result in overheating of the battery, rupture, and even explosion. Lithium-thionyl chloride batteries are particularly capable of this type of discharge. Consumer batteries usually incorporate overcurrent or thermal protection or vents in order to prevent explosion.

Because of the above risks, shipping and carriage of lithium batteries is restricted in some situations, particularly transport of lithium batteries by air as mentioned in this article here.

The computer industry's drive to increase battery capacity can test the limits of sensitive components such as the membrane separator, a polyethylene or polypropylene film that is only 20-25 µm thick. The energy density of lithium-ion batteries has more than doubled since they were introduced in 1991. When the battery is made to contain more material, the separator can undergo stress.

Lithium batteries and methamphetamine labs

Unused lithium batteries provide a convenient source of lithium metal for use as a reducing agent in illegal methamphetamine labs. Some jurisdictions have passed laws to restrict lithium battery sales or asked businesses to make voluntary restrictions in an attempt to help curb the creation of illegal meth labs. For example a newspaper article from January 2004 reports that Wal-Mart stores limit the sale of disposable lithium batteries to three packages in Missouri and four packages in other states. [] However, the heavy demand for lithium batteries for use in modern, current-hungry devices such as digital cameras conflicts with such restrictions.Fact|date=August 2008

ee also

*Lithium-ion battery
* Lithium-ion polymer battery
*Battery recycling
*Battery holder


[ Common back up circuit diagram]

External links

* [ Properties of non-rechargeable lithium batteries]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR1025 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR1620 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR2025 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR2032 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR2430 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR2450 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR2477 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of 2CR5 Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of 2N Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of 9 Volt Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR1/3N Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR1/2AA Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR123A Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR2/3A Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Brand Neutral Drawing Of CR223A Lithium battery based on ANSI Specifications]
* [ Lithium Thionyl Chloride Battery MSDS and supporting safety information]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lithium battery — noun Any of a group of electrical batteries that have a lithium anode; used in many portable electronic devices …   Wiktionary

  • Nickel–lithium battery — The nickel–lithium battery, also known as Ni–Li, is an experimental battery using a nickel hydroxide cathode and lithium anode. The two metals cannot normally be used together in a battery, as there are no electrolytes compatible with both. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Thin film rechargeable lithium battery — The Department of Energy’s ‘Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed high performance thin film lithium batteries for a variety of technological applications. These batteries have high energy densities, can be recharged thousands of… …   Wikipedia

  • Lithium-ion battery — Batteries caption=Lithium ion battery of Varta, Museum Autovision, Altlußheim, Germany EtoW=160 Wh/kg EtoS=270 Wh/l PtoW=1800 W/kg CtoDE=99.9% [Cite web | title = Charging lithium ion batteries | first = Isidor | last =… …   Wikipedia

  • Battery (electricity) — For other uses, see Battery (disambiguation). Various cells and batteries (top left to bottom right): two AA, one D, one handheld ham radio battery, two 9 volt (PP3), two AAA, one C, one …   Wikipedia

  • Lithium-ion polymer battery — Batteries caption=A prototype Lithium Ion Polymer Battery at NASA Glenn Research Center EtoW=130–200 Wh/kg EtoS=300 Wh/L PtoW=up to 2800 W/kg CtoDE= 99.8% EtoCP= 2.8 5 Wh/US$ SDR= 5%/month [http://www.dn intro.asp… …   Wikipedia

  • Lithium-Ionen-Akkumulator — Ein Lithium Ionen Akkumulator (auch Lithium Ionen Akku, Li Ion Akku, Li Ionen Sekundärbatterie, Lithium Akkumulator oder kurz Li Ion; [ˈliːtiʊm][1], oft fälschlich [ˈliːtsiʊm] ausgesprochen, also mit s Laut) ist ein Akkumulator auf der Basis von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Battery charger — This unit charges the batteries until they reach a specific voltage and then it trickle charges the batteries until it is disconnected …   Wikipedia

  • Battery holder — A battery holder is one or more compartments or chambers for holding a battery or batteries. In the case of dry cells the holder is also usually responsible for making electrical contact. In the case of wet cells cables normally make contact with …   Wikipedia

  • Lithium iodide — Chembox new Name = Lithium Iodide ImageFile = Lithium iodide 3D ionic.png ImageName = Lithium iodide OtherNames = lithium(I) iodide Section1 = Chembox Identifiers CASNo = 10377 51 2 Section2 = Chembox Properties Formula = LiI MolarMass = 133.845… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”