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Lithium-ion Batteries (Terra Futura)

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Lithium-ion batteries were batteries that used lithium. They were commonly found in electric cars.

(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words as the lithium page of Terra Futura to save time.)

Background

Lithium was discovered in the early 1800s by two scientists who isolated the element from petalite ore. Then, in 1821, pure lithium was isolated from lithium salts. The first application of lithium was in grease for aircraft engines. Then, during the Cold War, lithium was used to make hydrogen for hydrogen bombs. This required fission which was controversial anyway. After the Cold War, the demand for lithium fell. However, it would go up again. In the mid-1990s, scientists learned how to extract lithium from brine. This was less expensive than mining for lithium. This was used to create lithium oxide, a widely used flux in glass. Lithium oxide was also used in ovenware. This was by far the most common application of lithium. The second most common was lithium-ion batteries.

Description

Tech Level: 10

In 1991, the first lithium-ion battery was created by Sony and Asahi Kasei. It became the primary battery of choice in electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries were also common in consumer electronics. These batteries used lithium cobalt oxide which was unfortunately toxic. Lithium-ion batteries and similar lithium-ion polymer batteries would later use lithium iron phosphate. In the second decade of the 21st century, the graphite anode was replaced with stainless steel anode covered in silicon nanowires that held ten times more lithium. These nanowire batteries were smaller and faster to recharge. This allowed lithium-ion batteries to became more common. Then, in 2015, a new method for recharging lithium-ion batteries was perfected. A chemical oxidation process created minuscule holes in layers of graphene that fit more silicon nanowires. This increased energy density, and the lithium-ion battery became the most common battery in use. Electric cars became much cheaper. This was important since petroleum was becoming too expensive. However, lithium was limited resource, too. By 2100, it would be all gone. Of course, by then, superconducting batteries were replacing all other batteries.

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