What’s the Difference Between Lithium and Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Batteries?
Batteries are an incredible resource of the modern-day, they power everything from cell phones, to wireless automatic vacuum cleaners, to all different types of cameras. There are numerous different varieties of battery which serve many different purposes, but two we hear about more than any are lithium and lithium-ion batteries. You might have had to make a decision in the past regarding these two different battery types, but do you really know what they are?
To get the most out of your batteries, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge about Lithium and Lithium-ion batteries which come in all shapes and sizes like 95Wh batteries and 190Wh batteries. We’ll explain everything you need to know about Lithium batteries and their Lithium-ion cousins, including how they work, what they’re made from, and even how to recycle your old used batteries. Then, we’ll lay out the important differences between Lithium and Lithium-ion batteries, so you can make an informed decision about which to use.
What is a Battery?
To understand the similarities and differences between Lithium and Lithium-ion batteries, you need a basic understanding of what constitutes a battery, and how they work. All batteries are made up of the same three basic components; the anode (negative. side), the cathode (positive side), and some sort of electrolyte. When the cathode and anode of a battery are connected to an electrical circuit, a chemical reaction occurs between the anode and electrolyte.
Electrons flow through the circuit from the anode, and then enter back through the cathode and prompt another chemical reaction. These reactions continue until the materials are consumed, at which point no more electricity is produced by the battery. Both Lithium and Lithium-ion batteries produce portable electricity in this manner and can be used to power all sorts of different devices and electrical circuits. Batteries are incredibly useful components that allow us all sorts of luxuries, without them we would have to start cars by hand, and phones would still all be attached to the wall.
What is a Lithium Battery?
Lithium batteries are primary cell batteries, which means they cannot be recharged once empty. They use the metal lithium as an anode. Lithium batteries have a high charge density, meaning they last longer than other batteries and can hold more power. Depending on their design, lithium batteries can produce electricity with a voltage of between 1.5 and 3.7 V. The metal used in lithium batteries is very reactive, pure lithium will instantly react with water, and even moisture in the air.
Lithium batteries are used in many electronic devices, from electric toy cars to full-sized vehicles. Although their high power capacity makes them very useful, the fact that they cannot be easily or even safely recharged meant that many companies began to look for other alternatives. The disposable batteries many of us have around our homes are not very good for the environment, which is why many people and companies decide to use Lithium-ion batteries like this beautiful 900W Lithium Polymer Battery instead.
What is a Lithium-ion Battery?
Lithium-ion batteries are secondary cells, meaning that they can be recharged and reused. These batteries are incredibly popular today, and our everyday lives would be quite different without them. Your laptop, cell phone, tablet, and camera all depend on Lithium-ion batteries to keep them working, as these rechargeable batteries are highly effective. The electrodes of Lithium-ion batteries are made from lithium and carbon, making them much lighter in weight than other rechargeable batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are also great at holding their charge, losing only around 5% of their power every month they aren’t used. Another benefit of Lithium-ion batteries is that they have no memory effect. Ever remember being told that you need to completely discharge your batteries before plugging them in to recharge? That doesn’t apply to Lithium-ion batteries. These excellent rechargeable batteries can handle being charged and emptied hundreds of times before deteriorating.
Lithium-ion batteries are quite complex in nature, unlike the simplicity of a plain old Lithium battery. Within a lithium-ion battery, you would find multiple lithium-ion cells which store and provide the power. However, Li-ion batteries have other components too. A small computer within the battery monitors and regulates the temperature, voltage, and the state of battery charge, all from within the unit. This tiny system is necessary to keep your battery functioning as it should and is also responsible for the 5% power loss per month these rechargeable batteries experience.
What’s the Difference Between Lithium and Lithium-ion Batteries?
The biggest difference between Lithium batteries and Lithium-ion batteries is that Lithium batteries feature a single cell construction, meaning that they are single-use and cannot be recharged once empty. On the other hand, Lithium-ion batteries can be used time after time, they are rechargeable and can be charged and emptied hundreds of times.
If they’re sitting on a shelf unused, then Lithium batteries actually last much longer. A lithium battery can last for 10 to 12 years while retaining its charge, whilst Lithium-ion batteries only last from 2 to 3 years. You might not know that these two aren’t actually the only types of Lithium batteries you can get; check out our article on the difference between Lithium-ion and Lithium-polymer batteries.
Although Lithium-ion batteries might seem much better, especially from a waste point of view, there are still some properties that make Lithium batteries incredibly useful. They have a much higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, meaning they hold more charge in comparison to their size. Lithium batteries can provide power from a single charge, even if it’s the only charge they’ll ever have. Unfortunately, there is no safe or effective way to recharge Lithium batteries, which is why Lithium-ion batteries were invented in the first place. Additionally, Lithium batteries are cheaper and easier to manufacture, meaning they cost less to purchase.
Lithium v.s. Lithium-ion Batteries: Which are Better?
There are many different uses for batteries, as anything which needs a portable power source uses them. The kind of battery which is better depends entirely on your use, that’s why both types of battery are still produced and used all over the world today. Modern life depends heavily on batteries for portable power, they’re vital to our personal electronics, cars and transport, even our medical care.
Lithium batteries are the better choice for powering devices where long battery life is imperative. Examples include watches, film cameras, pacemakers, hearing aids, remote controls, calculators, and smoke detectors. All of these items need a long-lasting source of power without needing to be plugged into mains electricity all of the time, so a Lithium battery is an ideal choice.
The cases where Lithium-ion batteries are much more favorable require frequent recharging to be convenient. The Lithium-ion battery in your mobile phone generally lasts around a day, but you can recharge it every day for years without losing too much function. Devices like laptops, digital cameras, solar power storage, portable power packs, and any sort of wireless technology all rely on rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries to function. They need the ability to recharge without replacing parts because of their incredibly frequent use.
Neither type of battery should be exposed to hot temperatures, as this could risk permanent damage and can even be dangerous. Store your batteries in a cool, dry place at regular room temperature. For more information, read our article on how to store your Lithium-ion battery properly.
A Better Battery for a Better World
Lithium and lithium-ion batteries are both incredibly useful and make huge contributions to most people’s daily lives. Their applications are endless, from lifesaving medical technology to remote control toy cars, it’s hard to imagine a modern world without them. Both these types of batteries provide a form of portable power, they will provide charge to a compatible electric circuit no matter where you are.
The difference between lithium and lithium-ion batteries is that one is not rechargeable (primary cell) and the other can be recharged (secondary cell). In addition to this, Lithium batteries have a shelf life up to four times longer than lithium-ion batteries and are also much cheaper and easier to make. Until some new power technology comes about, Lithium-ion batteries will always be the best choice for the electronics we use every day. This goes for your cell phone, your digital camera, and even your electric toothbrush.
Conversely, the items we rely on to hold their charge for extended periods of time are best powered using Lithium batteries. Whether it’s a medical pacemaker or safety features like a smoke alarm, Lithium batteries are preferred as they last for so much longer. And, although we’d like to point out that it’s very rare, Lithium-ion batteries have been known to catch fire and explode, a feature we thankfully don’t see from Lithium batteries.
Alkaline Battery vs Lithium Battery-Which is Better?
With the technological boom, the number of battery-driven products is increasing in the market. The two most prominent types of batteries in the market are alkaline and lithium batteries. People often get confused between these two. So, let’s discuss alkaline battery vs lithium battery and decide which is better for your energy requirements from alkaline, lithium rechargeable AA batteries.
What are Lithium and Alkaline Batteries?
Lithium batteries are famous for their ability to store energy for longer durations using lithium cells. They are available as both primary as well as secondary cells. These batteries have a higher energy density than other kinds of batteries.
On the other hand, alkaline batteries are the standard kinds of batteries. They are available easily and are very compatible with any low-energy consumer electronic device like wall clocks, cordless phones, smaller flashlights, toys, non-main accent lighting, and many other portable household devices. This type of battery is based on the reaction of zinc metal and manganese oxide. After this let’s see alkaline battery vs lithium battery.
Alkaline Battery vs Lithium Battery-Which is Better?
Lithium batteries are quite different from alkaline batteries. Generally, lithium batteries are considered way better than alkaline batteries because the former has a longer lifespan, is cost-efficient, and is lightweight. However, it doesn’t mean you should always choose a lithium battery over an alkaline battery. There are different features of both batteries, these make one battery better than the other in different scenarios. Let’s learn about those features in detail.
These are the features that make a lithium battery a better choice over an alkaline battery-
Lithium batteries are costlier than alkaline batteries. This is because lithium batteries are made up of organic molecules. over, these batteries are more compatible with recent technologies of digital devices; thus, they are more in demand and have a higher price.
The lithium batteries perform quite efficiently in less energy-consuming settings. For example, they perform better in toys than in alkaline batteries. Thus, their replacement costs are lower than that of alkaline batteries. Compared to alkaline batteries, lithium batteries are way more economical.
The lifespan of a lithium battery is 4 times more than the alkaline battery counterparts. Typically, a lithium battery has 4000 cycles whereas an alkaline battery has 300 cycles. The alkaline battery has a shorter lifespan because it loses about 5% of its capacity daily. This battery deteriorates even while not in use.
Typically, lithium battery operates at a voltage that ranges between 1.5 and 3.0 volts. On the other hand, an alkaline battery has about 1.5 volts of nominal voltage per cell.
Lithium batteries roughly have a voltage of 3.0 volts per cell and thus they are perfect for higher-functioning electronics. Additionally, they also perform better than alkaline batteries because their cells can be combined to create 72-volt lithium battery packs and even higher-voltage battery packs.
Often, alkaline batteries are bulky and thus aren’t appropriate for all types of equipment. On the other hand, lithium batteries weigh less than alkaline batteries and are way better for portable devices. The weight of a AAA Lithium battery is about 33.3% lower than that of an AAA Alkaline battery counterpart.
Lithium batteries win over alkaline batteries in scenarios where lightweight is crucial. Medical devices like pacemakers also use lithium batteries because of their lightweight.
Energy Holding Capacity
A battery’s capacity refers to the quantity of energy it can hold. It’s not quite possible for alkaline batteries to match lithium batteries’ capacity. Lithium batteries are capable of maintaining high energy levels for a lot an extended period whereas alkaline batteries lose their power while in operation.
In comparison to lithium batteries, alkaline batteries have a lower operating temperature. They perform very poorly in cold climates. Low temperatures slow downs the internal chemical reaction of the battery.
Contrastingly, lithium batteries work best in chilly temperatures and thus they are pretty ideal for outdoor use. However, keep in mind a lithium battery’s operating temperature ranges from.20 to 60 degrees; going below or above this temperature will impact their temperature.
Primary alkaline, as well as lithium batteries, are non-rechargeable. If you attempt to recharge these primary batteries, they’ll explode. Alkaline and lithium batteries are also available as rechargeable secondary cells. Lithium batteries have a longer lifespan in comparison to the alkaline battery. Alkaline batteries have leakages and short circuits, they are more prone to the risk of overheating and explosions while recharging.
A high internal resistance decreases a battery power output. This resistance causes a low voltage. Compared to lithium batteries, alkaline batteries have a higher internal resistance and this impact their voltage output. This is why lithium batteries are more frequently used in applications where there is a need for constant energy levels for longer durations.
Method of Disposal
Non-rechargeable alkaline batteries don’t have mercury in their makeup and they aren’t harmful to the environment. Therefore, when these batteries are no longer functional, you can easily dispose of them like regular trash. However, you should cautiously dispose of alkaline batteries as they have potassium hydroxide and this can irritate some people.
On the other hand, lithium batteries degrade when they are exposed to high temperatures; they emit toxins into the environment. Different states have different laws regarding the disposal of lithium batteries. It is advisable to dispose of such batteries in authorized places. With this, you have learned about alkaline battery vs lithium battery. Now, its time to learn how to tell if a battery is lithium or alkaline.
How to Tell if a Battery is Lithium or Alkaline
After learning about alkaline battery vs lithium battery, let’s learn how to tell if a battery is lithium or alkaline. Mostly, primary lithium batteries are marked as Lithium. The button or coin lithium cells may also begin with (CR###). The lithium primary batteries can also be found as C, D, AA/AAA, Coin/Button cell, etc.
On the other hand, any typical alkaline battery consists of a steel can packed with manganese dioxide in its outermost internal cathode region. Within the center most internal anode regions, its also filled with zinc and the electrolyte. After this, let’s see which battery among alkaline vs lithium batteries environmentally friendly.
Which Battery Among Alkaline vs Lithium Batteries Environment Friendly?
Lithium and alkaline batteries both have some advantages and disadvantages. Since both batteries aren’t exactly sustainable, it’s hard to choose the environment-friendly one. So, a lithium battery will store more energy than one alkaline battery, they last longer and thus reduce the demand for new batteries. However, they have an extremely low recycling rate of only 1%. It is also believed to have low toxicity and thus can’t be disposed of in a general bin.
Lithium batteries must be sent to the hazardous waste facility or recycling facilities. over, lithium is sourced via mining, so it’s indirectly responsible for pollution as well as deforestation. After this, let’s see lithium vs alkaline batteries lifespan.
What is Lithium vs Alkaline Batteries Lifespan?
There is a significant difference between lithium vs alkaline batteries life. Lithium batteries have many pros over alkaline batteries and their lifespan is one of the major advantages they have. The lithium batteries are designed to last longer. over, they are very suitable for Smart and high-tech devices. Typically, alkaline batteries can last for about 10 years whereas lithium batteries can last for about 15 years.
Alkaline vs Lithium Rechargeable Batteries or Alkaline vs Lithium AA Batteries: What’s the Difference?
Lithium batteries have an anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separator (to keep the two electrodes apart). Charged lithium ion moves from anode to cathode when the battery starts operating. All lithium batteries have a consistent output and are customizable. They are used in radio and communication devices, cameras as well as photography, and medical equipment.
On the other hand, Alkaline batteries work just like lithium models but they only transfer ions in only one direction. The battery will lose its voltage and drain as the ions move from the anode to the cathode. Their rechargeable variants are made from nickel and cadmium but they aren’t as reliable as lithium ones. These batteries are recyclable and cost-effective. They are mostly used in smoke alarms, wireless microphones, etc.
Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet’s long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.
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BATTERY BIOS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE AAA BATTERY
The AAA Battery is a small cylindrical cell battery of alkaline, lithium, or Ni-MH composition. The AAA Battery is an extremely common battery and is produced by many large brands such as Duracell, Atomic, Energizer, Toshiba, and more. The AA battery is also widely produced by smaller companies and private label battery manufacturers. Other companies also produce batteries in a similar size to the AAA, but of different designations and capacities.
What Is The AAA Battery Equivalent?
Depending on the manufacturer, batteries of the same size and capability of AAA, are referred to in a few different variations. Direct replacements for AAA would be LR03, R03, FR03, HR03, KR03, ZR03, 24A, 24D, 24LF, MN2400, MX2400, MV2400, Type 286, U16, HP16, UM 4, and more. These batteries are exact equivalents for the AA battery, the only difference being the name.
AAA batteries are also made in compostions such as lithium, carbon zinc, NiHm, and more. Most of these different battery chemistries should work in applications that require an alkaline AA battery ,but since they offer various capacities and discharge rates, for the best results, always consult the owner’s manual of your device to determine the exact battery that is required.
What Are AAA Batteries Used For?
AAA are an extremely popular battery and are perfect for applications requiring a small yet stable battery. Some examples of AAA usages are listed below.
How To Install AAA Batteries In Your Device
First identify the positive and negative ends of the battery. On a typical Alkaline AAA battery, the flat side will usually be the positive side. On the opposite side, a small circular protrusion should be visible. The side is typically the negative end. Now that you have determined the positive and negative ends of the battery, you can easily align it with corresponding markings on your device. Please note that some devices have small metallic tabs for battery retention and function. It is very important to leave these tabs unharassed and undamaged as doing so may compromise the performance of your device. If you do slightly move this tab out of place, they can usually be fixed by carefully readjusting them back into the proper orientation.
Where To Buy AAA Batteries?
AAA batteries are extremely common and popular. This means that a wide variety of manufacturers make these batteries and a wide variety of retailers sell the battery. It is important to keep in mind that not all AAA batteries are created equal and that all retailers have the same dedication to quality. To avoid low quality or worse counterfeit batteries it is important to only purchase your batteries from a highly reputable retailer that sells only the highest quality of brands.
Microbattery.com has been selling batteries online for over 25 Years and has one of the widest variety of batteries available, including the AAA battery, from a variety of world-renowned manufacturers. For all your battery needs, please consider Microbattery.com and let them be your battery expert!
Microbattery.com is the leading provider when it comes to Hearing Aid Batteries, Watch Batteries, Lithium Coin Cells, Lithium Batteries, Alkaline Batteries, and Rechargeable Batteries across North South America. We have the capability to meet the needs of all sizes of consumers, dealers, distributors and importers. For over 25 years, we have been striving to ensure high customer satisfaction and providing the best quality product possible. Ever since our online store was launched 15 years ago, we have been constantly improving optimizing our site to provide the most enjoyable and convenient shopping experience for our valued customers.
Our online store has one of the largest selections of various batteries and battery products for all types of electronic applications on the web. Our website is very easy to navigate to help ensure customers can find exactly what they need. All of our products are conveniently organized by category. They can be easily filtered by the category drop down located at the top of every page on our website. Alternatively customers can use the Battery Finder™ located on our homepage, to quickly and simply identify the exact batteries they need. If you require any assistance in determining what products are right for you please do not hesitate to give us a call at (305)-371-9200.
At Microbattery.com, you will find one of the largest selections of batteries on the web. We have millions of cells of common batteries like CR2025, CR2032, LR44, LR41, AA, and AAA in stock at all times. We also carry a wide variety of less common batteries such as CR2477, CR2016, Rechargeable Batteries, Radio Batteries, Telephone Batteries, and Pet Batteries. Regardless of your battery needs, we have got you covered. If you require a battery that we currently do not carry, please feel free to give us a call at (305)-371-9200 to place a special order (some restrictions apply).
Our customer base currently includes tens of thousands of satisfied consumers, various private companies, (local, state, federal, international) government agencies, military, institutions, wholesalers, and chain stores. Without hassle, we will ship your products worldwide, already having done so for over eighty-five countries.
Xtar LC4, LC8 and 1.5 v lithium rechargeable battery
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Xtar 1.5V lithium rechargeable battery review
Xtar charger specifications
|Max charging current
|4.9V (0.5A x4 avg.)
|5V (Max 0.5A x 8) (Max 13.5W)
|Number of slots
|– Powerbank feature
|– Capacity testing
|– Battery storage
|Only Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator (can’t use other batteries)
|Only Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator (can’t use other batteries)
|Only Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator AA and AAA (can’t use it with other batteries)
|Only Xtar 1.5V Li-ion with LED indicator AA and AAA (can’t use it with other batteries)
When you look at AA and AAA batteries, you normally choose between primaries 1.5V (Alkaline, Zinc Carbon) and rechargeable batteries 1.2V (NiMH, NiCad). But you also have non-rechargeable lithium batteries like the Energizer Lithium L91, that are rated at 1.5V.
From all the NiMH batteries, Eneloop have been the most impressive and probably most popular. They are LSD batteries (low self discharge) and don’t lose much capacity over time. The ‘problem’ with NiMH batteries is that they have an average voltage of 1.2V while discharging. This means that the output of flashlights (and other devices) might be reduced. And if you use multiple Eneloop batteries simultaneously, you don’t get the same voltage as Alkaline batteries. That might mean that there is not enough voltage for the device to work the same, compared to Alkaline batteries.
Of course, Alkaline batteries are still a lot weaker than Eneloops for example, so they don’t have the ‘power’, but they do have the higher voltage.
And only in the last couple of years have we heard about rechargeable Lithium batteries at 1.5V.
No, they aren’t really 1.5V lithium batteries, but Lithium-Ion batteries at 3.7V, but with a converter built-in, so it steps down to 1.5V. And that has some great benefits. You can’t charge them in a normal 18650 charger, nor in a normal AA battery charger!
Both chargers are sent in a similar package. It includes a picture of the charger at the front, and specifications at the back.
That’s all you need, and that’s all you get. The LC4 came with 4 AA Xtar batteries, and there were 4AAA added to the LC8 package.