Li-air (Lithium-air) is a metal –air battery that employs the use of oxidation of lithium at the anode and the cathode is the reduction of oxygen (Mitchell, 2014). This type of battery is majorly used as a source of battery in electric vehicles and even in the hybrid electric cars. These batteries are viewed as a greatly promising in the new inventions for both portable electronic devices like mobile phones and electrical cars because of these batteries’ potentials for dissipating a high electrical energy. But still, these batteries are still facing some pretty serious drawbacks / bottlenecks. These batteries inject more energy ion form of heat to the environment (these are a waste). These batteries also need very expensive parts to pump oxygen gas in and out of the battery in an open configuration, and this is very expensive (Imanishi, 2015). Another serious drawback of these batteries, Lithium explains the mismatch between the voltage used in charging and that used in discharging these batteries.
The output voltage of the battery is above 1.2 voltages lower than the voltage applied during charging; this is a higher percentage of the power loss of about 30% of electrical energy as heat loss which occurs during both cycles in charging. There is current latest technology regarding Li-Air batteries; this is known as Lithium –air-breathing batteries (Jow, 2014). This battery uses oxygen as an oxidizer as opposed to material which can wear out leading to replacement which is costly. This technology is underway at the University of Dallas; there is hope that this battery will last about five times longer than the normal lithium –air batteries. This discovery may take time for it to be implemented fully but when the research on it is complete, it will highly help to make gadget stay for long hours with power. The diagram below is the raw discovery of this battery (Michael, 2014). These batteries will make it very easy for electrical cars to travel long distance as the power takes very long time to run low in the cars and also take a long time to mobile phones. In these batteries their main byproduct of the reaction of the battery is lithium hydroxide, this decomposes to easily during the charging of the battery as opposed to coating the anode.
The battery faces some drawbacks at the anode like there will be dendrite formations which are caused by irregular current distribution and also lithium can react with the solvent which will result to formation of natural SEI, brittle and defectives (Mitchell, 2014).
State of the art technology in many at times refers to the highest level of the general development of any discovery, invention, technique or scientific field realized at a particular time. This can also mean the level of improvement or development achieved at any specific time due to common methodologies applied (Scrosati, 2013). On the current research on the development of this battery, there is manganese which will act as a catalyst hence catalyzed the reduction in the battery. With this, it will create an opportunity for future research to help come with an analogous material which can be used to optimize the catalysis of the battery by applying just a material which would combine the function of the mixed oxides. The analogous material should be used together with the major components like the lithium so that the material makes the part of the battery (Zhang, 2016).
Li-air batteries are a good type of battery since they are rechargeable and highly durable since they use oxygen in the reduction cathode terminal. Since air cannot wear out the battery stay for many days without wearing out. The Li-air batteries are exceptional since the cathode terminal is not put in the battery. The gas (oxygen) will be reduced at the air electrode surface (catalytic) creating either a peroxide ion or oxides which then react with positive ion species in the electrolyte. Li-air batteries have a more gravimetric energy density than the others which are achieved by metal oxide or carbon couples. For the reasons above I believe that this battery is a better deal that the others. In life best things are free, and since this pure battery work on the reduction of the oxygen which is obtained freely in the air , this battery becomes very cost effective to use (Zhou, 2014).
Even though this battery has several merits, it is still faced with some bottlenecks which need to be solved, but many scientists have not yet got how to solve them. The prototype of such is the slow rate of recombination of oxygen ions and lithium ions (Scrosati, 2013). To complete the combination, both oxygen and lithium have to overcome their boundaries which slow the kinetic reaction and this will affect the overall performance of the battery. To improve the working of this battery then it is advisable to reduce the boundary of both oxygen and lithium used. This will help to reduce the time the ions of both lithium and oxygen take to recombine (Mitchell, 2014). When this time is reduced, then the overall performance of the battery will be highly increased, and the speed of operation will be high. There is a lot of electrical energy loss due to heating of the components; this loss is about 30% of the supplied electrical energy. If in the design, this energy loss should be looked into to ensure that it is either totally eliminated or highly reduced to a negligible value.
In conclusion, the Li-air battery is going to be one of the world best innovations which help to boost the economy in the world since it is very cheap and produces electrical energy which can run for many hours. It is gas (oxygen) which will be reduced at the cathode hence this battery is a better deal to employ. Even though this battery has many pretty merits but still it is faced with some drawbacks/bottlenecks like the loss of electrical which are regarding heat dissipated by the battery during charging.
R. R. (2014). Investigation of Lithium-air Battery Discharge Product Formed on Carbon Nanotube and Nanofiber Electrodes. Ansterdam: Amstadam press.
Dudney. (2011). Metal/Air and Metal/Water Batteries. Chicago: The Electrochemical Society.
Imanishi, N. (2015). The Lithium Air Battery: Fundamentals. Hul: Springer Science & Business Media.
Jow, R. T. (2014). Electrolytes for Lithium and Lithium-Ion Batteries. New York: Springer, .
Michael, S. (2014). Nanotechnology in Advanced Electrochemical Power Sources. Delhi: CRC Press.
Scrosati, B. (2013). Lithium Batteries: Advanced Technologies and Applications. Hull: John Wiley & Sons.
Zhang, H. (2016). Li-S and Li-O2 Batteries with High Specific Energy: Research and Development. Beijing: Springer.
Zhou, X. (2014). Graphene: Energy Storage and Conversion Applications. NewYork: CRC Press.