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Charging Your Phone: How Does a Lithium Ion Battery Work?

How do lithium ion batteries operate?

Do you want to learn how the battery works inside your cell phone?

In this article, we are going to discuss how does a lithium ion battery work and how it is different from ordinary batteries.

How Does a Lithium Ion Battery Work?

Keep reading if you want to learn more about how your cellphone's battery works.

Ordinary Batteries

A battery is a chemical experiment occurring inside a small metal canister.

Chemicals inside a battery slowly break apart. They join themselves together to create other chemicals, making a stream of negatively charged electrons and positively charged particles called ions.

Ions move through the battery. Electrons go through the circuit where the battery is connected ad this provides electrical energy.

Chemical reactions only happen in one direction. This explains why regular batteries cannot be recharged.

Rechargeable Batteries Have Reversible Reactions

In rechargeable batteries, different chemicals are used. They split apart through completely different reactions.

Chemical reactions in rechargeable batteries are reversible. When a battery is discharging the reactions, move one way, and the battery releases power.

When the battery is charging, reactions proceed in the opposite direction causing the battery to absorb energy.

These chemical reactions can occur hundreds of times in both directions. A rechargeable battery will give you more life depending on how well you look after it and how often you use it.

How Lithium-ion Batteries Work

Similar to other batteries, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is created by one or more power-generating parts named cells.

Every cell has three parts: a negative electrode, a positive electrode, and a chemical called an electrolyte in between them.

The positive electrode is usually made from a chemical compound, lithium-cobalt oxide. In newer batteries, it is lithium iron phosphate.

The negative electrode is typically made from carbon, and the other electrolyte depends on the type of battery.

All lithium-ion batteries tend to work similarly. Once a battery is charging, the lithium-cobalt oxide (positive electrode) releases some of its lithium ions. This moves through the electrolyte to the negative electrode and remains there.

During this process, the battery receives and stores energy. Once a battery is discharging, the lithium ions shift from the electrolyte to the positive electrode.

This creates energy that powers the battery.

Electrons flow in the contradictory direction to the ions surrounding the exterior circuit. Electrons won't flow through the electrolyte: it's a shielding barrier.

The movement of ions and electrons is an associated process. If one stops the other will as well.

If ions stop moving through the electrolyte because the battery is discharged, electrons will not be able to move through the exterior circuit - then you lose power.

If you turn off whatever the battery is powering, the flow of ions and electrons stop. The battery will stop discharging.

Keep Learning

In this article, we discussed how does a lithium ion battery work in cell phones and how they differ from ordinary batteries.

Did you know there is cell phone charging cases? Check out this product we have available to purchase!

August 30, 2018