Energy & Green Tech

3D-printed lithium-ion batteries

Electric vehicles and most electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers, are powered by lithium-ion batteries. Until now, manufacturers have had to design their devices around the size and shape of commercially ...

Energy & Green Tech

New materials are powering the battery revolution

There are more mobile phones in the world than there are people. Nearly all of them are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are the single most important component enabling the portable electronics revolution ...

Energy & Green Tech

First-ever 3-D-printed electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries

For the first time, researchers have successfully printed a complete, albeit experimental, lithium-ion battery including a solid-state electrolyte. While electrodes have been produced using 3-D-printing technology before, ...

Energy & Green Tech

Fisker has designs on solid state battery breakthrough

Battery-breakthrough stories continue with expectations that in time we will finally get some answers—that some innovator confronting issues of traditional lithium ion batteries will figure out an economy of manufacture ...

Energy & Green Tech

3-D printing the next generation of batteries

Additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3-D printing, can be used to manufacture porous electrodes for lithium-ion batteries—but because of the nature of the manufacturing process, the design of these 3-D printed electrodes ...

Energy & Green Tech

Organic Mega Flow Battery transcends lifetime, voltage thresholds

To sustain human civilization in the future, clean energy sources must be harnessed to replace the fossil fuels that are now polluting our atmosphere. Solar and wind energy can supply all the necessary energy. However, storage ...

Energy & Green Tech

Norwegian researchers hit silicon jackpot for top battery solution

Steve Hanley certainly wrote what we are all thinking—groan, not another story about a battery "breakthrough." So many blares from a trumpet begin to fall on deaf ears, but the bleats go on. So what and who are we to take ...

Energy & Green Tech

Tripling the energy storage of lithium-ion batteries

As the demand for smartphones, electric vehicles, and renewable energy continues to rise, scientists are searching for ways to improve lithium-ion batteries—the most common type of battery found in home electronics and ...

Energy & Green Tech

Cobalt-free batteries: The long goodbye

Lithium-ion batteries make use of cobalt for stability. The use of cobalt, nonetheless, has its drawbacks. The drawbacks have to do with cost, and with availability, and the two as usual are intertwined.

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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