Most people have one of the most important things right in their pocket. Lithium (in the form of your phone battery) was formed during the Big Bang nucleosynthesis and other explosions that occurred before the formation of the solar system.
Lithium is a highly reactive alkali metal element. First discovered in 1817, it is not naturally isolated and relatively rare, making up only 0.0007% of the Earth's crust.It is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element, soft enough to be cut with a knife.
Lithium has many industrial uses including:
Lifespan: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries last at least 5000 cycles compared to only 400-500 cycles in lead-acid. Cycle life is greatly affected by the higher discharge levels of lead-acid batteries compared to lithium-ion batteries, which are easily degraded.
Discharge: Lithium-ion batteries are 100% discharged versus less than 80% for lead-acid batteries. Most lead-acid batteries recommend no more than 50% discharge.
Efficiency: Lithium-ion batteries are nearly 100% efficient in both charging and discharging, allowing the same amp-hours to be cycled on and off. The inefficiency of lead-acid batteries results in a 15 amp loss during charging and rapid discharge will quickly lower the voltage and reduce battery capacity.
Weight: Lithium-ion batteries are one-third the weight of lead-acid batteries.
Voltage: Lithium-ion batteries maintain their voltage throughout the discharge cycle. This enables higher and longer lasting efficiency of the electrical components.The lead-acid voltage drops steadily throughout the discharge cycle.
Cost: Despite the higher initial cost of lithium-ion batteries, the actual cost of ownership is much lower than that of lead-acid batteries when considering life and performance.
Environmental Impact: Lithium-ion batteries are a much cleaner technology and safer for the environment.