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Types of Lithium Polymer Batteries: What You Need to Know

Types of Lithium Battery

Lithium-ion batteries, despite their higher market price, are widely recognized as a cost-effective and reliable power source. These batteries power a wide array of devices, from mobile phones and LED flashlights to electric vehicles.

Each device has specific requirements, and different Li-ion battery chemistries cater to these needs. There are various types of lithium-ion batteries, each with unique properties, cathode materials, and lifespans. Continue reading to learn more about these diverse battery types and their characteristics.

6 Common types of Lithium Ion Battery

6 Common types of Lithium Ion Battery

Lithium Cobalt Oxide Battery (LiCoO2)

Lithium Cobalt Oxide Battery (LCO or LiCoO2 for short) is a new type of secondary lithium-ion battery with lithium cobalt oxide as the anode material and graphite carbon as the anode material. When charging, lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode, and vice versa when discharging.

Pros:

  • The average capacity degradation per cycle is less than 0.05%, prolonging battery lifeIt has a high discharge rate.
  • Specific capacity of first discharge is more than 135mAh/g, providing larger initial energy reserve.
  • High vibration density, increasing the volumetric specific capacity of the battery and prolonging the use of equipment.
  • Provide higher voltage and current to meet the needs of high-performance equipment.
  • Stable performance and good consistency, with an operating temperature range of -20~55℃.

Cons:

  • Lithium cobalt oxide batteries are more expensive to produce.
  • LiCoO₂’s structure can only remove about 50% of lithium. Overcharging will damage its structure and lose reversible cycles, needing a protection circuit.
  • Poor thermal stability and toxicity indicators.
  • Overheats easily in high temperatures, risking explosions or fires, and generates more heat during charging.
  • The batteries have limited charging and discharging cycles.

Lithium Manganese Oxide Battery

The Lithium Manganese Oxide Battery is another chemistry that uses a different cathode material, which is the manganese oxide. Compared to the other types, it is designed with a three-dimensional structure for better handling of current and ion flow. It is also characterized to have a thermal stability and 100-150Wh/kg energy density.

Pros:

  • High structural stability of spinel-type lithium manganate, with excellent multiplication performance and stability.
  • Lower cost, compared with other lithium-ion battery materials, lithium manganate has lower manufacturing cost.

Cons:

  • Relatively shorter cycle life, faster capacity degradation.
  • Poor high-temperature performance, easy to serious capacity degradation above 55℃.

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide Battery (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC)

One of the famous battery chemistries is the Lithium nickel manganese cobalt, also called LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC, and it is known for its cathode material’s combination of the three elements, cobalt, manganese, and nickel. The proportions of these cathode materials make the lithium-ion battery exhibit a superstructure.

Pros:

  • It has a longer lifespan of around 2,000 charge cycles.
  • It is an ideal choice for tight spaces due to its compact size.
  • Ideal crystal structure, low self-discharge, no memory effect.

Cons:

  • Unstable high-temperature structure, resulting in poor high-temperature safety
  • It has a lower voltage compared to other batteries with cobalt

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide Battery (LiNiCoAlO2 or NCA)

A LiNiCoAlO2 battery, also known as a lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide battery, utilizes a lithium metal oxide with a hexagonal layered structure (α-NaFeO2 type layered structure) that belongs to the R-3M space point group. Its electrochemical properties are similar to those of lithium cobalt oxide and lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide. The finished lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide material is a secondary agglomerate of primary single crystals, making it an ideal material for green power lithium-ion batteries.

Pros:

  • High charge rates capabilities
  • High specific energy and high energy density
  • Can deliver a higher load of current in a longer period.
  • A high lifespan of over 2,000 charge cycles.

Cons:

  • Battery cells of NCA are less stable.
  • NCA batteries have higher cost in the market.

Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery (LiFePO4)

The Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery, or LFP Battery, invests in iron phosphate, an organic compound insoluble in water as its cathode material. Combining lithium-ion and iron phosphate gives a set of suitable metrics for battery performance, making it ideal for long-lasting operations.         

Pros:

  • Will not have thermal collapse at high temperature or overcharging like Li-CoO2 battery, it has good safety.
  • The cycle life of Li-FePO4 battery reaches more than 2000 times, and its service life is about 7~8 years.
  • Its thermal peak can reach 350℃-500℃, with a wide range of operating temperature (-20℃ to +75℃) and high temperature resistance.
  • The volume and weight of lithium iron phosphate batteries are smaller and lighter than lead-acid batteries.

Cons:

  • In low-temperature environment, the performance of lithium iron phosphate batteries is significantly reduced, difficult to work properly below 0 ℃.
  • Low vibration density and compaction density, resulting in low energy density.

Lithium Titanate Battery (Li4Ti5O12)

The Lithium Titanate Battery, also known as the LTO battery chemistry, is composed of metal titanium and lithium and the combination of the two makes a unique characteristic of lithium-ion batteries. Its chemical formula made it an ideal choice for various vehicle applications, especially its electrochemical stability. Additionally, it is the popular option in Off-Highway Electric Vehicles (OHEV).

Pros:

  • Fast-charging capability and high specific power.
  • Normal charging and discharging at -50℃ to -60℃.
  • High rate and efficiency.
  • It has longer lifespan of over 10,000 charge cycles.

Cons:

  • The production cost for Lithium Titanate Battery is high.
  • It has a low energy density.
  • It is not easy to find compatibility.
  • High humidity control requirements   
  • Easily inflated, causing the battery to bulge

Conclusion

The various lithium-ion battery chemistries discussed above exhibit distinct advantages and disadvantages in performance. They demonstrate superior durability and resistance in both commercial and industrial applications. Understanding their specific characteristics is essential for making informed decisions when selecting a suitable battery chemistry for your needs.

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