A New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Aims To Take Energy Efficiency To New Heights

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Lithium-oxygen batteries have proved to be one of the best technologies that support portable electronic devices and electric cars. The main source of this potential is their ability to generate high energy output that is in complete proportion with their weight. However, some major flaws were detected in these batteries like these waste too much energy in form of heat and degrade swiftly. The infrastructure and components required for pumping oxygen is also an expensive one.

 

A new version of these batteries could be implied in the completely sealed battery that promises a similar performance theoretically. The new version overcomes its drawbacks in the most perfect manner and is called as nanolithia cathode battery. As the maker of this battery explains, the mismatch between voltage indulged in discharging or charging of these batteries. The output from these batteries is a little more than 1.2 volts and less than the voltage used for charging the battery. Li, the writer of this paper, likes to explain, “You waste 30 percent of the electrical energy as heat in charging. It can actually burn if you charge it too fast.”

The traditional lithium-oxygen batteries take in oxygen from their surrounding in order to carry out the chemical reaction that takes place while it discharges the lithium. The oxygen is then released back to the atmosphere when reverse reaction completes during the charging cycle. In the new version, a familiar electrochemical reaction takes place between oxygen and lithium during discharging and charging. However, these reactions take place without allowing the oxygen to get back in the gaseous form. Oxygen remains inside the solid form and forms three different compounds like LiO2, Li2O2, and Li2O. These are combined with each other in a glass form. These bring down the  voltage loss factor by five, from 1.2 to .24 Volts. Thus, only 8 percent heat is converted into heat. As Li further says, “This means faster charging of cars, as heat removal from the battery pack is less of a safety concern, as well as energy efficiency benefits.”