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Lithium-ion batteries are used everywhere from lighting up our mobile devices to powering our electric cars that we drive. Lithium-ion batteries are the best batteries that we have to this day. These batteries will be the best batteries that we will have for a long time because of their efficiencies. These batteries come in multiple shapes and sizes, so they can be used in a variety of devices. Lithium-ion batteries are the most efficient batteries made and their benefits far outweigh any safety concerns.
Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere today in our phones, hand-held electric drills, computers and much more. We have “achieved about 90% of the total capacity of these batteries”(The Verge). These batteries also have lots of protection on them, for example, a thermal fuse to keep a thermal runaway from happening, a chip to shut off the power when it gets low, and when it is fully charged which makes them “almost the best battery there is” (The Economist). Also, these batteries are relatively new so companies don’t have a lot of restrictions on what these batteries should include. Unfortunately, a Chinese company can sell them for very cheap and they could be built to be very dangerous.
To help understand this debate over the value of the use of Lithium-ion batteries, one must also understand the history. Lithium-ion batteries first come to commercial use “in the 1980s, but failed because of instabilities in the metallic lithium used as anode material” (Battery University). In 2000, Sony released these batteries for their products and they were a lot safer than the earlier versions of these batteries. Also “The purer we get the electrolyte the more efficient discharge and charge can be” (BASF) and the less likely there is to be an internal short in the battery which can cause a fire. Along with how much power these batteries have, safety measures like overcharge protection, have been put in place to keep them stable. All of these together create a more safe and efficient battery for everyone.
A reason people like Lithium-ion batteries is for how long they last, they “only lose 5% battery life over a month”(Battery University). Another reason people like these batteries is for the different sizes they can come in, for example, the size of an AA cell or a single cell in your phone which is flat. Lastly, these batteries have low maintenance to keep them running. From “The energy density of Lithium-ion is typically twice that of the standard nickel-cadmium”(Battery University). All of these reasons support that Lithium-ion batteries are convenient to use and are used in our everyday life.
A final reason that people like these batteries is for the various sizes available. These batteries let companies make car battery jumpers that can start your car and fit in your pocket. Also “Manufacturers are constantly improving Lithium-ion”( Battery University). Along with the constant improvement of these batteries, they get better and better. Lithium-ion batteries are “almost the ideal batteries”(The Economist).On the other side of this debate are the opposers of Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries need to be cared for to have them last. “If it is over discharged it is ruined”(Battery University), which means the battery voltage is 0 and can never recover. Also “these batteries can be overcharged”(Battery University) which can lead to an explosion. These complexities make some people dislike these batteries.
The other reason that people don’t like these batteries is because of their safety. These batteries, without protection from a computer chip, can explode. If these “batteries get too hot they can have a thermal runaway” (Battery University) which ends in fire and destruction of the battery. Also if “too much current is drawn from these batteries they can expand and explode” (Battery University). Lastly, the batteries that are not made correctly can have internal shorts which increase heat and then lead to a thermal runaway. All of these reasons and ways that these batteries can go south have some people stay away from using this type battery from their own experiences.
In conclusion, Lithium-ion batteries are used in almost everything that is not directly plugged into the outlet. These batteries have their good sides, like long battery life and compact size, but because the technology is still advancing, there are some bad sides. The good qualities greatly outweigh the bad. Lithium-ion batteries are a newer chemistry and are constantly improving. That means they will be safer as technology progresses. This all shows that Lithium-ion batteries are the ideal battery to be using at this time and their benefits far outweigh any safety concerns.
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