LiFePO4 vs. Lithium-Ion: Which Battery is Safer?
Apr 08,2023 Basen
Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) have become the most widely used rechargeable batteries due to their high energy density, lightweight, and long cycle life. However, these batteries pose safety concerns due to their potential to catch fire or explode under certain conditions. To address these safety concerns, researchers have developed a new type of battery, the lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, which is known for its superior safety features. In this article, we will compare LiFePO4 and lithium-ion batteries in terms of their safety features and performance.
LiFePO4 batteries are known for their superior safety features compared to lithium-ion batteries. LiFePO4 batteries have a lower risk of thermal runaway, which occurs when the battery overheats and causes an uncontrollable chain reaction. This is because LiFePO4 batteries have a higher thermal stability and can withstand higher temperatures compared to lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, LiFePO4 batteries have a lower risk of explosion or fire due to their stable chemical composition and low flammability.
In contrast, lithium-ion batteries have a higher risk of thermal runaway, especially when they are overcharged, subjected to high temperatures, or physically damaged. This is because lithium-ion batteries contain a flammable electrolyte and a highly reactive anode made of lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2), which can cause a thermal runaway if it comes in contact with water or air.
While LiFePO4 batteries are safer, they have lower energy density and power density compared to lithium-ion batteries. This means that LiFePO4 batteries have a lower capacity to store energy and deliver power compared to lithium-ion batteries. As a result, LiFePO4 batteries are commonly used in applications that prioritize safety over performance, such as electric vehicles, power tools, and energy storage systems.
Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, have higher energy density and power density, making them ideal for applications that require high performance, such as smartphones, laptops, and electric bicycles. However, the high energy density of lithium-ion batteries also makes them more susceptible to thermal runaway and other safety hazards.
In summary, LiFePO4 batteries are safer than lithium-ion batteries due to their lower risk of thermal runaway and explosion. However, they have lower energy density and power density compared to lithium-ion batteries, which limits their use in high-performance applications. The choice between LiFePO4 and lithium-ion batteries ultimately depends on the specific application and the balance between safety and performance requirements.