The Chemistry of Lithium Batteries


I chose to do my project on Chemistry of Lithium Batteries. People depend of Lithium Batteries almost everyday if not everyday, knowing it or not! Lithium Batteries help most people go about their daily lives and really some may live off them! Cell-phones, T.Vs, calculators, computers/laptops, electric cars, and so much more depend of Lithium Batteries. I wanted to make sure I chose something that is very important to people's everyday lives and that never gets appreciated and that explains many things but especially batteries.

Composition of ...

Main essential components...

    1. Anode: Graphite [carbon] - C(s)
    2. Cathode: Lithium Cobalt Oxide - LiCoO2
    3. Electrolyte: Typically a combination of lithium salts - LiPF6, LiBF4, or LiClO4, in an organic solvent, such as either.
  1. Separator: The separator is a very thin sheet of micro perforated plastic. - CH2=CHCl

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Electrons and Li+ ions start bonded to the Anode (Graphite-Carbon), through discharge of electrons to device you have the breakdown of Carbon-Lithium bonds, Li+ ions travel through electrolyte solution and separator in order to bond to the Cobalt Oxide Ion (negatively charged cathode CO2-), which creates Lithium Cobalt Oxide. When all of the electron and Lithium have broke down and traveled to the Cathode your battery is dead. When charging the battery, the breakdown of Lithium Cobalt Oxide occurs, Li+ ions travel through electrolyte solution and bond to negatively charged Anode (this is because when charging electrons are sent to graphite causing a negative charge and attraction to Li+ ions).

Chemistry's Role

Lithium Ion and Cobalt Oxide Ion are naturally occurring elements that naturally bond together through Ionic Bonds to form Lithium Cobalt Oxide because of their opposite charges. Graphite is also a naturally occurring compound mined from the Earth.

When making Lithium Ion batteries, Manufactures, start by creating a Cathode paste composed of LiCoO2, which, is spread onto both sides of a sheet of aluminum foil. Also, an Anode paste composed of Graphite is spread onto both sides of a sheet of copper foil. The separator or polymer film is placed between the two sheets (Cathode and Anode). The three sheets (Separator, Cathode, and Anode) are rolled up into a cylindrical shape and placed within a cylindrical housing compartment. Afterwards compartment is filled with Lithium Salt in order to create contacts between Cathode and Anode! The Compartment is then sealed and a circuit is attached to each cell to control charging and discharging or traveling of energy (e-; electrons).

Background Research

The reaction in the anode creates electrons, and the reaction in the cathode absorbs them. The net product is electricity. The battery will continue to produce electricity until one or both of the electrodes run out of the substance necessary for the reactions to occur.


    • Explains the general use of batteries
    • What kind of processes the battery goes through when activated/being used
    • Common list of modern batteries we use almost, if not, everyday.
    • History of the battery. How it first came to be.
    • The anatomy of most common batteries.
    • Explains the difference between certain types of batteries in their chemical structure.
    • About Rechargeable batteries.

    • Explains the chemical makeup of batteries.
    • Explains the chemical structure of certain parts of batteries.
    • Shows the chemical reaction that happens during recharging batteries.
    • Shows the anatomy of batteries.

    • History the battery. Inventors behind it.
    • Voltaic Cells, Wet Cells, Dry Cells
    • Type of batteries
    • Hazards

    • Common electronics that use Lithium “rechargeable” batteries
    • The basic chemistry
    • Parameters of typical Lithium batteries
    • Do’s and Don'ts of Lithium batteries

    • How a battery works
    • Chemical reaction of typical battery
    • Electrical energy
    • Energy change

    • Composition of an anode
    • Composition of an cathode

About the Author

Jocelyn Elorriaga-Medina is an inspirational student at Billings Senior High. She competes in Cross-Country and Track & Field and played a part in the Girl’s Track & Field 4-Peat Championship Team. Every year she has lettered in both sports and has been ranked in the Northwest as top ten. Her athletic ability is undermined by her academic prowess. Jocelyn will also be attending Rocky Mountain College in the Fall of 2014 with aspirations to graduate with a Dual Major of Biology and Chemistry. “I can’t get enough of Chemistry with Mr. Beals. I enjoy the academic challenges that I have encountered. Also, his pet birds, piranhas, and goldfish give me great joy!”, says Jocelyn while speaking about her high school Chemistry class. Jocelyn believes that this class will give her a great base for what she will encounter in college. She obviously will be putting in the effort at Rocky Mountain College but she is always optimistic stating, “I’m Ready, Give Me All You Got!”