Lithium ion battery is a type of battery where lithium ions move from the negative to the positive electrode while discharging and back when it is charging. Lithium ion battery is also called li-ion battery. A lithium battery uses an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, unlike the metallic lithium used in non-rechargeable lithium batteries. This is why these batteries are very good for smartphones and other similar devices. More work is still going into enhancing the capacity of lithium ion batteries. For instance, a nickel-metal hydride battery has a self-discharge rate of about 20%, which in turn shows that the shelf life is shorter than most. There are different kinds of lithium batteries and they are mostly used for portable consumer devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. They are also used in many electric automobiles, in the military and in aerospace.

How The Lithium-ion Batteries Work

There are different types of lithium batteries and they make use of various types of cathodes. Cathodes are made up of lithium molecules. Anodes, on the other hand, are made up of carbon. Similar to any other time of batteries, there is a chemical reaction between anodes, cathode and the electrolyte to create electrical currents. The other factor is that all the materials used in this process will determine the cost of the lithium batteries as well as the safety, capacity and performance. For instance, a lithium battery containing lithium cobalt oxide cathode can generate a higher capacity although they tend to be more reactive due to their low thermal capacities. Lithium batteries containing lithium iron phosphate have a life cycle that is 4-5 times longer than the one mentioned above and also a power density that is at least 10 times better. For instance, many similar batteries lose at least 30% of their capacity after about 1000 recharge cycles. It usually retains its capacity even after many cycles of charging or recharging.

Here are some major advantages of lithium ion batteries

Smaller and Lighter

Lithium batteries are smaller and lighter in weight but they come with a higher capacity than other types of batteries. These features come in handy for use in portable devices.

Energy Density

Lithium ion batteries come with a higher energy density than other battery types, which gives you a higher batter capacity no matter the size.


One significant feature about lithium batteries is that only has monthly self-discharge rate of 1.5%. This rate is lower than the self-discharge rate of other batteries.

Fast Charging

Lithium batteries are known for its fast charging capabilities. It recharges faster than other types of batteries. This means it has a longer shelf life than most other batteries.

Open-circuit Voltage

Lithium ion batteries come with open-circuit voltage unlike other batteries. They require both a wider range of test conditions as well as additional battery-specific tests. For instance, we have seen battery-related recalls by some companies, including the 2016 Samsung Note 7.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries have a longer lifespan than other types of battery. Here is the major disadvantage of lithium ion batteries. It is possible for Lithium ion batteries to pose unique safety hazards because they contain a flammable electrolyte and may be kept pressurized.


This article has given a description of lithium ion batteries. It also shows their major advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking for the best batteries to use with your devices, lithium ion batteries are your best option based on all the advantages mentioned above.


Research shows that sometimes if you charge a battery cell too quickly, it can lead to a short circuit, which in turn causes explosions and fires. Because of these risks, testing standards for lithium ion batteries are more stringent than those for acid-electrolyte batteries.


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Concern Parameters

The development of an average Lithium ion battery pack is expected cover at least 10 major parameters. These parameters are specific power, wide temperature operating range, better safety, high specific energy, lower self-discharge, affordable cost, longer life, non-toxic, fast charging, and longer shelf life. For instance, when Lithium ion batteries were in its early stages, the cost was about $3000 per kWh, while Lead-acid batteries, on the other hand, cost just about $150 per kWh. Fortunately, with major technological improvements over the period of time and also because of multiple benefits offered by lithium ion battery pack, which is at least 150Wh/kg more than the NiMH, there have been major changes to the cost. The cost of lithium battery has considerably fallen and it now varies from $150 to $240 per kWh.


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An average lithium ion battery pack is made up of lithium, graphite, metal and oxygen, all of which run in a charging or discharging cycle. When generating energy, the lithium travels back to the positive cathode through the electrolyte. On the other hand, when it is charging, the ions travel to the positive anode. Over a long period of time, this cycle is repeated many times. This eventually leads to the degrading of the potency of the ions in its capacity to provide the electric charge. The lithium-ion comes with 250Wh/kg (Watt-hours per kilogram) of energy while NiMH comes with just about 90Wh/kg. According to Tesla, their aim is for lithium ion battery packs to be $100 per kWh for their cars. This difference is quite significant, especially when thinking of small, portable and noiseless rechargeable battery.


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