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Applications And Structure Of Lithium‐Ion Batteries (LIBs)

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Iron oxides, such as Fe3O4, are putative anode materials for rechargeable lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs). LIBs are extensively utilized as power sources for electronic devices. LIBs typically consist of cells, with each cell built out of a lithium cathode and a graphite anode. However, graphite anodes suffer from heavy weight, large volume, low energy density and low safety levels. Iron oxide metal oxides seem to be a promising alternative to currently employed graphite anodes. Iron oxides anodes possess high capacity, high availability, good stability, and environmental tolerance. However, there are still several hurdles that prevent their market expansion such as poor electronic/ionic conductivity, large volume changes, poor cycling performance and low coulombic efficiency. Employing Fe3O4 seems to be one alternative to address these challenges. This review will cover the current development of iron oxide electrodes with respect to design, production techniques as well as general applications.

Applications of LIBs

Li-­ion batteries, are leading the digital revolution. They are exclusively used in portable electronic devices. Li-­ion batteries usage is increasing rapidly especially to fill up the demand from electric vehicles. Overall, it is estimated that nearly 100 GW hours of Li-­ion batteries would be demanded to cover the customer needs as well as electric-powered vehicles. In addition to that, Li-­ ion batteries are also utilized to support the fluctuating green energy supply from renewable resources, such as solar and wind. Thus Li-ion battery constitutes one of the most important factors of technology in the twenty first century.

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Structure of LIBs

Typically, Li-­ion battery (LIB) is constructed by connecting several Li-­ion cells. The cells could be attached together in parallel, in series or using a combined configurations to form a module that could be integrated to build a battery pack. In turn, a Li-­ion cell is comprised of a cathode, an anode and electrolyte. The electrodes are isolated from each other through a microporous polymer membrane. This membrane enables the exchange of lithium ions between the two electrodes but not electrons. The LIB operates through cycles of charging and discharging through a shuttle chair mechanism. First during charging the two electrodes are connected externally to an external electrical supply. The cathode release its electrons that move externally to the anode. Simultaneously, the lithium ions in the electrolyte moves from the cathode to the anode internally. This mechanism allows the storage of electrochemical energy in the form of difference in the chemical potential between the cathode and the anode. Conversely, during the discharging phase: electrons move back from the anode to the cathode via the external load while Li ions move from anode to the cathode in the electrolyte.

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