Energy & Green Tech

Calcium batteries: New electrolytes, enhanced properties

Calcium-based batteries promise to reach a high energy density at low manufacturing costs. This lab-scale technology has the potential for replacing lithium-ion technology in future energy storage systems. Using the electrolytes ...

Energy & Green Tech

Li-ion batteries: Science 'directly into your hand'

They are omnipresent and essential to navigating modern life. Small, light, rechargeable: lithium ion batteries have revolutionised our world in less than three decades.

Energy & Green Tech

Approaching the battery of tomorrow with help from a laser

Eco-friendlier, cheaper, with a bigger storage capacity and increased lifetime: many demands are made on the battery of the future. A Spanish team of researchers uses laser technology to design the next generation of batteries.

Engineering

Creating batteries to power air travel

Researchers at the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research have created new computer models to predict the life and performance of batteries that could power some passenger airplanes—a step forward for cleaner, ...

Energy & Green Tech

World's first electric hydrofoil jet ski

The University of Western Australia's Renewable Energy Vehicle Project (REV) has teamed up with technology partner Electro.Aero, a Perth-based start-up company, and funding sponsor Galaxy Resources, an ASX-listed lithium ...

Energy & Green Tech

High-performance sodium ion batteries using copper sulfide

Researchers presented a new strategy for extending sodium ion batteries' cyclability using copper sulfide as the electrode material. This strategy has led to high-performance conversion reactions and is expected to advance ...

Energy & Green Tech

How do lithium-ion batteries work?

The smartphone era is only just over a decade old, but the pocket-sized computers at the heart of that societal transformation are only really possible because of another technology: lithium-ion batteries.

page 1 from 15

Lithium

Lithium (pronounced /ˈlɪθiəm/) is the chemical element with atomic number 3, and is represented by the symbol Li. It is a soft alkali metal with a silver-white color. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals lithium is highly reactive, corroding quickly in moist air to form a black tarnish. For this reason lithium metal is typically stored under the cover of oil. When cut open lithium exhibits a metallic luster, but contact with oxygen quickly turns it back to a dull silvery gray color. Lithium in its elemental state is highly flammable.

According to theory, lithium was one of the few elements synthesized in the Big Bang. Since its current estimated abundance in the universe is vastly less than that predicted by theory; the processes by which new lithium is created and destroyed, and the true value of its abundance, continue to be active matters of study in astronomy. The nuclei of lithium are relatively fragile: the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have lower binding energies per nucleon than any other stable compound nuclides, save for the exotic and rare deuterium, and 3He. Though very light in atomic weight, lithium is less common in the solar system than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements.

Due to its high reactivity it only appears naturally in the form of compounds. Lithium occurs in a number of pegmatitic minerals, but is also commonly obtained from brines and clays. On a commercial scale, lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.

Trace amounts of lithium are present in the oceans and in some organisms, though the element serves no apparent vital biological function in humans. However, the lithium ion Li+ administered as any of several lithium salts has proved to be useful as a mood stabilizing drug due to neurological effects of the ion in the human body. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, high strength-to-weight alloys used in aircraft, and lithium batteries. Lithium also has important links to nuclear physics. The transmutation of lithium atoms to tritium was the first man-made form of a nuclear fusion reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA