What is the difference between alkaline and lithium batteries

Battery is a kind of common and commonly used items around us. In people’s lives, the smallest remote control, electric toys, large to a variety of household appliances, a variety of transportation also have the appearance of batteries. A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy in a cup, tank, other container or part of a composite container containing an electrolyte solution and a metal electrode to produce an electric current. The more common types of batteries in life are alkaline batteries and lithium batteries two, so what is the difference between these two types of batteries we know?

Lithium batteries are lighter than alkaline batteries : Lithium batteries are much lighter than alkaline batteries. This characteristic gives them an advantage for use in portable devices such as cordless power tools, wearables and cordless medical diagnostic tools. They also have a longer life span, which makes them widely used in high-tech smart devices and electronic equipment where battery replacement is an inconvenience.

Lithium batteries are more environmentally friendly : While alkaline batteries have a higher energy density, last longer than other types of batteries, and have a longer shelf life, they are prone to leakage involving potassium hydroxide. Potassium hydroxide is a corrosive reagent that can cause respiratory, eye and skin irritation. Potassium hydroxide leakage from alkaline batteries also puts gadgets that use the batteries at risk of permanent circuit damage, as leaking potassium hydroxide forms potassium carbonate when it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air.

Alkaline batteries are primary, or disposable, batteries that cannot be easily recharged after one use and are discarded when fully discharged. Hence, once they are fully discharged, they have to be replaced. This need for replacement increases the demand for batteries which in turn triggers the entry of many manufacturers. This has led to the increase of counterfeit alkaline batteries in the market.

Counterfeit batteries have a similar appearance to branded alkaline batteries but do not match the performance, efficiency, and leak-proof features of the branded products, thus deliberately misleading consumers. This increases the risk to people’s health and safety posed by alkaline batteries.

Lithium batteries are more durable than alkaline batteries:A major advantage of lithium batteries over alkaline batteries is that lithium batteries last longer. On the other hand, lithium counterparts are secondary batteries, which means that they can be recharged to their original pre-discharge state when discharged. This is accomplished by causing current to pass through their circuitry in the opposite direction of the current during discharge.

Lithium batteries outperform alkaline batteries at low temperatures:Lithium batteries function even in the most extreme temperatures, making lithium batteries ideal for outdoor equipment. Lithium batteries work in extreme cold climates or extreme hot climates where alkaline batteries stop working. The advantage of alkaline batteries is that their chemistry allows them to power everyday items such as alarm clocks. However, these batteries perform very poorly in cold weather. This is because they are designed with a water-based electrolyte, and extremely cold temperatures cause the mobility of the ions in them to decrease, and as a result, the chemical reaction in them slows down and ultimately reduces their ability to provide the required capacity electric battery power.

Lithium batteries, on the other hand, can withstand extremely low temperatures and can therefore operate properly in very cold climates without failure. This makes them very suitable for outdoor equipment applications. Therefore, you can trust that they will provide you with the battery power you need to experience the use of gadgets that need to be powered without the limitations caused by climate change. Therefore, lithium batteries can be used as a high-performance alternative to standard alkaline batteries in situations where alkaline batteries are preferred but their performance is negatively affected by extremely cold weather.

Material differences between lithium and alkaline batteries:Chemistry, performance, cost and safety are the key factors that distinguish lithium batteries from alkaline batteries. The materials used to develop the batteries and the methods used to manufacture them are also a key distinguishing feature.

The chemical design of alkaline batteries relies on zinc (Zn) and manganese dioxide (MnO2) as the cathode and anode, respectively, as well as an alkaline rather than acidic electrolyte; potassium hydroxide (KOH). They derive energy from the reaction between Zn and MnO2.

On the other hand, the design chemistry of lithium batteries relies on lithium metal. Batteries may have different types of cathodes and electrolytes, but they all use lithium metal as the anode. Lithium cobalt (LiCoO2), lithium titanate (Li2TiO3), lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4), lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide(LiNixCoyAlzO2),andlithium-nickel-nickel-manganese-cobalt-nickel oxide (LiFePO4) are existing lithium batteries.

Lithium titanate and lithium iron phosphate have very impressive rechargeability characteristics. Their charging efficiency is about 90%, while their cycle endurance (100% depth of discharge cycle) is about 10,000 to 90% capacity and about 12,000 to 80% capacity, respectively.

Lithium iron phosphate batteries, also commonly referred to as LFP batteries, are the safest type of lithium battery on the market today. These batteries are designed in such a way as to provide a nice looking small size product that is lightweight but has a high energy density.

Definitions are not the same:Alkaline Battery:Chemically, a typical alkaline dry cell battery has a zinc anode and a manganese dioxide cathode. The electrolyte is a non-acidic basic paste. A typical electrolyte used in alkaline batteries is potassium hydroxide. Physically, a typical alkaline battery consists of a steel can packed with manganese dioxide in its outermost internal cathode region and is filled with zinc and the electrolyte within the center-most internal anode region. The electrolyte surrounding the anode mediates the chemical reaction between the anode and the cathode.

Alkaline batteries, also known as alkaline dry batteries, alkaline zinc-manganese batteries, alkaline-manganese batteries, are the best performing varieties in the current commercialized series of zinc-manganese dry batteries. The model number for alkaline batteries is LR6 (five) / LR03 (seven) and the prefix L stands for alkaline. Of course there may be a suffix after the number, but it is not common. Alkaline batteries use electrolyzed manganese dioxide to make the ring positive electrode, and zinc paste configured with zinc powder and additives as the negative electrode. Due to the strong conductivity of the electrolyte, the surface area of the positive and negative materials is greatly superior to that of carbon batteries, as well as the promotion of the electrochemical reaction of the zinc-manganese system under strong alkaline conditions, alkaline batteries have a much better power output and capacity than carbon batteries. Alkaline batteries are more suitable for larger power appliances than carbon batteries, but with the development of digital technology, many appliances can be called electric tigers, such as high-brightness LED flashlights, flash lamps and so on. The current of these appliances can be as high as 1500mA, so I’m afraid that general alkaline batteries can’t handle it.

Lithium battery: Lithium battery (Lithium battery) refers to the electrochemical system containing lithium (including lithium metal, lithium alloy and lithium ion, lithium polymer) batteries. Lithium batteries can be roughly divided into two categories: lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries. One is the lithium-ion batteries used in flashlights and laptops, and the other is the lithium polymer batteries in our cell phones. Lithium-ion batteries are shaped in a circle larger than a five-cell battery, and lithium-polymer batteries can be molded into a variety of shapes, and they can also be made very thin, and most of them are square in shape. The memory effect of lithium batteries is basically negligible, which means that they can be recharged as they are used, and you don’t need to wait until your phone has only one cell left to recharge it. Lithium metal batteries are usually non-rechargeable and contain lithium in a metallic state. Lithium-ion batteries do not contain lithium in a metallic state and are rechargeable.

the characteristics of the items are not the same:Generally lithium battery energy is relatively high, and long service life, the service life can reach more than 6 years, the rated voltage is high about equal to 3 nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries in series voltage. With high power tolerance, self-discharge rate is very low, which is one of the outstanding superiority of the battery, generally can be done below 1% / month.

Alkaline batteries are capable of outputting less current than general storage batteries. The capacity of alkaline battery will become smaller with the increase of output current, for example, the same battery can have the capacity of 3000mAh in low output current, but when it is used in taking 1A current negative – load, the capacity will only get 700mAh, which is less than 1/4 of the original.

The use of the attention of the matter is not the same:Lithium batteries and alkaline batteries in addition to the above two differences, the use of its precautions are also different. Usually lithium-ion battery power to maintain 10% ~ 90% is conducive to the protection of the battery. The charging temperature range of lithium batteries is 0~45 degrees Celsius, and the discharging temperature range of lithium batteries is 0~60 degrees Celsius. Normally, a 50% charge is good for lithium-ion battery preservation. Alkaline batteries will leak electrolyte if left for a long period of time. Since the electrolyte is corrosive alkaline potassium hydroxide, it will have irritating effect on eyes, respiratory tract and skin. Alkaline battery electrolyte also erodes metals and damages electronic parts, so the leaking electrolyte from the battery can also damage products using the battery, especially electronic products.

Different working principles:The positive electrode material of lithium-ion battery is usually composed of lithium active compounds, while the negative electrode is carbon with special molecular structure. When charging, the electric potential added to the battery poles forced the positive electrode compound to release lithium ions, embedded in the negative electrode molecular arrangement of carbon in the lamellar structure. When discharged, the lithium ions precipitate out of the carbon in the lamellar structure and recombine with the compound at the positive electrode. The movement of lithium ions creates an electric current, and the materials for the positive electrode need additives to keep them active for multiple charges and discharges. The materials for the negative electrode need to be engineered at the molecular level to hold more lithium ions, to fill the electrolyte between the positive and negative electrodes, to reduce the internal resistance of the battery, and to be stable and have good electrical conductivity.

Alkaline batteries use a large piece of zinc as the anode, a high-density manganese dioxide mixture as the cathode and steel or unplated brass as the current collector.

In our daily life, alkaline batteries and lithium batteries have their own advantages and disadvantages, and different electronic products will choose different types of batteries according to their needs. Different electronic products will choose different types of batteries according to their needs. We also need to learn to distinguish between different batteries and use and store them according to their characteristics.

Advantages of alkaline batteries:

1. A wide range of applications, can be used in the Chinese naval equipment, defense tactical radio, field telephone, intelligent terminal equipment, such as the Chinese naval equipment preferred portable power supply, but also a large number of military use in the reserve power supply.

2. High storage capacity, heavy load and continuous discharge performance index is good, high voltage discharge time is long, storage performance index is excellent and does not need maintenance.

3. Selecting manganese ring secondary re-pressurization and its steel shell inner side wall carbon coating technology, which greatly reduces the internal resistance of the battery and improves the performance index of the battery’s high-current discharge.

4. The use of ultrafine fiber high density diaphragm, can effectively increase the storage period of the battery.

5. Good sealing rubber plug set up a safe explosion-proof structure type, to avoid battery explosion that may occur due to improper use of the battery.

6. The selection of ultra-thin steel shell technology to enhance the internal storage capacity of the battery, which in turn enhances the battery discharge storage capacity.

7.Does not contain mercury and cadmium, no pollution to the environment; very little will bring harm to the environment.

Disadvantages of alkaline batteries

1. Good sealing performance indicators, storage capacity uniformity and safety performance and in the overall level of modernization in foreign countries are still different, not up to the international community of Chinese naval equipment use requirements, to be comprehensively improve the overall level of product quality. Although alkaline batteries use a sealed battery structure, but the lye has a characteristic, called infiltration, the adsorption capacity of the metal surface is particularly strong. This causes the so-called creeping alkali phenomenon, that is, we often say that the battery leakage phenomenon, leakage is not terrible, the main thing is to corrode to the expensive appliances. In addition, alkaline batteries are over-discharged under the negative electrode produces hydrogen, the battery internal pressure rises, in order to avoid battery explosion, located in the negative electrode pressure relief valve will open, exhaust at the same time, of course, also leakage. Battery leakage is a delightful and overwhelming headache. Light corrosion of electrodes affect contact, heavy corrosion of circuit boards expensive appliances scrapped. Therefore, has always been an important goal of battery improvement is no liquid leakage.

2.The bottleneck problem has not been overcome, rechargeable alkaline zinc-manganese battery core technology to be improved to apply the needs of the military. Point out the key problems that need to be solved to improve the performance index of rechargeable alkaline zinc-manganese batteries.

Lithium-ion battery has the following advantages:

1. High voltage, single cell working voltage up to 3, 6-3, 9V, is Ni-Cd, Ni-H battery 3 times 2, large specific energy, the actual specific energy can be achieved for the 100-125Wh / kg and 240-300Wh / L (2 times more than Ni-Cd, 1, 5 times more than Ni-MH,, in the future, with the development of technology, the specific energy can be as high as 150Wh / kg and 400Wh / L) With the development of technology in the future, the specific energy can be as high as 150Wh/kg and 400Wh/L.

2. Long cycle life, generally can reach more than 500 times, or even more than 1,000 times, for small current discharge appliances, the battery life will multiply the competitiveness of electrical appliances.

3. Good safety performance, no harm, no memory effect, as Li-ion predecessor of lithium batteries, lithium metal is easy to form dendrites short circuit, reducing its field of application: Li-ion does not contain cadmium, lead, mercury and other environmentally polluting elements: part of the process, such as sintered, Ni-Cd batteries, there is a major drawback for “memory effect A major drawback of some processes such as sintered Ni-Cd battery is the “memory effect”, which seriously limits the use of batteries, but Li-ion does not exist in this regard.

4. Self-discharge is small, room temperature fully charged Li-ion storage 1 month after the self-discharge rate of about 10%, much lower than 25-30% of Ni-Cd, Ni, MH 30-35%.

1) Rapid charging and discharging, 1C charging is the capacity can reach more than 80% of the nominal capacity.

2) High operating temperature range, the operating temperature of -25 ~ 45 ° C, with the improvement of electrolyte and anode, is expected to be broadened to -40 ~ 70 ° C.

Lithium-ion batteries also have certain disadvantages

1. The battery cost is high. Mainly in the cathode material LiCoO2 high price (Co resources are less,, electrolyte system purification difficulties.

2. Can not be large current discharge. Due to the organic electrolyte system and other reasons, the internal resistance of the battery is relatively large compared to other types of batteries. Therefore, the requirement of small discharge current density, general discharge current in 0, 5C or less, only suitable for small and medium current appliances.

3. Need to protect the line control.

A)overcharge protection: battery overcharge will destroy the positive structure and affect the performance and life; at the same time, overcharging the draft electrolyte decomposition, internal pressure is too high and lead to leakage and other issues; therefore, it must be charged at a constant voltage of 4,1V-4,2V;

B)over-discharge protection: over-discharge will lead to difficulties in the recovery of active substances, so also need to have protection line control.

4. Lithium-ion battery safety factor is poor, there is a risk of explosion.

5. High production and manufacturing regulations and increased costs.

6. All lithium-ion appliances must maintain the power supply circuit to prevent overcharge and discharge.

Alkaline batteries and lithium batteries have their own advantages and disadvantages, we need to buy as needed and learn to use them correctly and reasonably.

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