and Bruce, 2016). This specific energy is at least five times the specific energy of typical lithium- ion batteries, proving that this technology can be relied upon to produce much larger power, compared to other wet and dry cell technologies. Despite these energy output properties of Lithium-air batteries, there is a need for the improvement of their cycle life, if they can find a significant market niche.
LITHIUM-AIR BATTERY TECHNOLOGY 6 History of Lithium-Air Batteries Technology The Lithium-air batteries were first hypothesized as a potential source of power for hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles in the 1970s. However, at this time, there were many inefficiencies in material science, and hence, it was impossible to practically develop these cells (Grande et al., 2015). However, in the early 2000s, there was a renewed interest in the research, and this field as advances in materials science took shape. Despite these advances and the hypothesis of the working principle of the Lithium-air battery, a significant challenge was the risk to benefit ratio. This was majorly due to the high cost of the materials needed for the development of the Lithium-air batteries. In the mid-2000s, there was a growing perception that there were no alternatives to the hypothesized high specific energy rechargeable Lithium-air batteries. This, coupled with the highly positive results in the lab results conducted on the work, led to an increase in publication and patents concerning the Lithium-air batteries. Despite the continued research on the possibility of practically developing the high specific energy Lithium- air batteries, there are inherent challenges that have inhibited the practicality of these hypotheses (Aurbach et al., 2016). These challenges include, but not limited to water and nitrogen sensitivity, recharging times issues and poor conductivity of a charged Lithium-air cell. The Working Principle of Lithium-Air Batteries The working principle of a Lithium-air battery is based on creating a voltage from the oxygen molecules availability at the anode. These oxygen molecules react with positively charged lithium ions, resulting in the formation of aqueous lithium peroxide (Li 2 O 2 ) and electrical energy (Asadi et al., 2018). Electrons are then drawn from this cathode electrode, and this results in the discharging of the Lithium-air battery, and hence no more Li 2 O 2 can be formed. The Li 2 O 2 is an inferior conductor of electrons, and the growth of these Li 2 O 2 deposits on the
LITHIUM-AIR BATTERY TECHNOLOGY 7 electrodes has the effect of dampening and hence killing off the reaction responsible for the production of electrical energy. This problem can be solved by ensuring that these deposits are stored close to the electrodes but do not coat them.
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