Lithium-ion batteries are essential to modern technology, powering smartphones, laptops, medical devices and even electric vehicles.
Of course, although lithium is a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries, they also include other metals, such as cobalt, graphite and nickel. But which lithium-ion battery types are used for which applications? There is more than one type of lithium-ion battery, and not all are created equal. We've outlined six lithium-ion battery varieties below, as well as their compositions and common uses. Read on to learn more about this exciting technology.
1. Lithium cobalt oxide
Also known as lithium cobalate or lithium-ion cobalt batteries, lithium cobalt oxide batteries are made from lithium carbonate and cobalt. Due to their very high capacity, these batteries are used for cellphones, laptops and electronic cameras.
2. Lithium manganese oxide
Lithium manganese oxide batteries are also commonly called lithium manganate or lithium-ion manganese batteries.
Lithium manganese oxide batteries are notable for their high thermal stability, and are also safer than other lithium-ion battery types. For this reason, they are often used in medical equipment and devices, but they may also be used in power tools, electric bikes and more.
3. Lithium iron phosphate
Lithium iron phosphate batteries, also known as li-phosphate batteries.They benefit from low resistance properties, which enhance their safety and thermal stability. Other benefits include durability and a long lifecycle — fully charged batteries can be stored with little change to the total lifespan of the battery's charge.
Accordingly, these batteries are often used in electric motorcycles as well as other applications that need a long lifecycle and significant safety. Electric vehicles often use these batteries as well.
4. Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide
Also known as lithium manganese cobalt oxide or NMC batteries, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries are made of several materials common in lithium-ion battery types.
Like other lithium-ion battery varieties, NMC batteries can have either a high specific energy or a high specific power. This battery type is most common in power tools and in powertrains for vehicles.This battery type is also commonly preferred for electric vehicles due to its very low self-heating rate.
5. Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide
Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide batteries are also called NCA batteries, and are becoming increasingly important in electric powertrains and in grid storage. NCA batteries are promising for the automotive industry. NCA batteries provide a high-energy option with a good lifespan, but they are not as safe as they could be and are quite costly.
Given the consistent use of NCA batteries in electric vehicles, it is possible that demand for these batteries will rise as electric vehicles become more common.
6. Lithium titanate
Finally, lithium titanate, also known as li-titanate, is a class of battery that allows for ever-increasing applications. The main advantage of the li-titanate battery is its remarkably fast recharge time.
Currently, manufacturers of electric vehicles and bikes use li-titanate batteries, and there is potential for this type of battery to be used in electric buses for public transportation. Applications for these batteries can include military and aerospace uses, and they may also be used for storing wind and solar energy and creating smart grids.
Which lithium-ion battery is best?
Lithium-ion batteries come in a range of types and have a variety of uses. That means some lithium-ion batteries are better suited to particular applications than others are. The most important thing is to choose the battery best suited the task at hand.