We use many gadgets like smartphones, laptops, wireless headphones, and many others regularly. These gadgets work with batteries that provide them with the chemical energy needed to function.
In the earlier gadgets, we used lead-acid batteries. These batteries were heavy and self-discharged a lot. They took longer times to recharge and were at constant risk of explosion. The batteries used in these gadgets are lithium-ion batteries. They are rechargeable and help in the functioning of many portable instruments and vehicles running on electricity.
We need not focus on the working of lithium-ion batteries. We need to know, are lithium-ion batteries safe? We use them regularly without any precautions or future consequences.
Uses of Li-ion batteries
As said, we use lithium-ion batteries in many areas of our daily lives regularly. The first use of lithium-ion batteries is in our smartphones and laptops. They have in-built lithium-ion batteries that we charge from time to time to use the gadgets.
Many desktop users have UPS connected to their desktops so that if the main power cuts off, they can safely save their work and shut down their systems without any damage to the sensitive equipment of the desktop.
Lithium-ion batteries also help in the data center fields. They have lesser charging time and take less area. The average life of lithium-ion batteries is around ten years, whereas lead-acid batteries work for three to six years. Wind turbine farms and solar farms use BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) that have lithium-ion batteries.
Why lithium-ion batteries?
The use of lithium-ion batteries has increased many folds over the years. They have many advantages over the traditionally used lead-acid batteries. Here are some benefits of lithium-ion batteries over other batteries:
- Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight. Earlier, mobile phones were heavy as they used old batteries. But with lithium-ion batteries, smartphones, laptops, and other appliances, that earlier had lead-acid batteries, are considerably lighter in weight.
- Lithium-ion batteries can conduct electricity quicker than lead-acid batteries. The ions present in the latest batteries help in quicker electricity conductance and our gadgets recharge quicker than before.
- Lithium-ion batteries do not heat up quickly. The chemicals present in the batteries prevent them from heating up, saving the other components from damage due to heat.
- Lithium-ion batteries have a lower self-discharge rate, which means that even if you do not use them for a long time, their capacity and working efficiency will not decrease.
- The life expectancy of lithium-ion batteries is around ten years. Users do not need to replace them each year. Their efficiency does not decrease, and they continue working the same way as they did in the beginning.
- Lithium-ion batteries can work longer hours than traditional batteries. They have more capacity than the old batteries and can perform efficiently for a much longer time.
Have you read: Advantages and disadvantages of lithium-ion battery
Debate on lithium-ion battery safety
Since we use lithium-ion batteries on a large scale, they take a considerable share in landfills and garbage disposals. We do not recycle even 5% of lithium-ion batteries. If this continues, we may end up with a multimillion metric ton heap of waste lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium extraction involves a lot of water consumption and hazardous chemicals. The countries that extract Lithium face frequent water shortages and water contamination on a large scale. Roughly speaking, the extraction of a ton of Lithium requires five hundred thousand gallons of water. It endangers the future sustainability of the next generations.
A study containing information about the environmental damage caused due to Lithium mining in Chile states that the land is now infertile, and hazardous chemicals cover the whole area. With so much unsustainability and less recycling rate, lithium-ion batteries can cause problems in the future.
The first thing we need to figure out the answer to the question “are lithium batteries safe” is to find a way for their efficient recycling. Once we know how to recycle them, they will not cause damage to our environment. Since we do not know the efficient recycling method, we can focus on their proper disposal.
With time, lithium-ion batteries manufacturers ensure that their packaging is strong enough to contain all the chemicals in the batteries. The packaging and chemicals used in the batteries are safer than before and not harmful. The materials of the batteries are more durable so that they do not get heated up quickly.
The manufacturers check the durability and efficiency of the lithium-ion batteries produced before selling them for commercial uses in the market. They ensure that these batteries are safe to be used in millions of gadgets and electric devices regularly.
Read about “Lithium ion Battery vs Lithium polymer Battery“
Battery Management System (BMS)
All lithium-ion batteries have a battery management system, also known as BMS, to bring more safety to the customers. This system has sensors, switches, microprocessors, and small circuits to monitor the temperature of the battery, the charge level, and the charge rate to avoid any mis-happening.
This system also protects the batteries from any damage caused by low voltage. It tells the users about the status of the lithium-ion battery, its current health, and how long it can work. The details prevent its excess usage.
The governments of many countries have labelled lithium-ion batteries as non-hazardous for landfills as they do not have lead, mercury, cadmium, or any other material. Though lithium-ion batteries are suitable for landfills, this does not mean that we do not need to recycle them.
Lithium extraction needs a lot of water, and the harmful chemicals used in its extraction make the extraction site barren with no vegetation. In such cases, we must find a suitable way to recycle them so that the demand for Lithium stays in control.
Since we use Lithium in many fields regularly, we cannot stop using lithium-ion batteries as it can affect the world on a large scale.
If you wish to purchase the best quality lithium-ion batteries at competitive rates, choose Waaree ESS. To learn more about our expert services, Get in touch with us now.
You can also read: How Can You Improve The Performance And Life Of Lithium-Ion Batteries?