How a Lithium-Ion Battery Works-

Lithium-ion batteries empower the latest gadgets and devices you use; yes, now most electric things are powered by these batteries. Electronic corporations are using lithium-ion batteries in their products. You will be shocked to know those mobile devices, laptops, and every product powered by a battery mostly run on lithium-ion batteries.

So, one needs to know how a lithium-ion battery works. The question is quite simple. However, a complete procedure and principle for lithium-ion batteries are necessary. Don’t worry, here we provided complete information.

How a Lithium-Ion Battery Works

The exciting thing is that the lithium-ion batteries are not only limited to these small electronics; now, cars and other transportation like bikes, rickshaws, and even buses are running on lithium-ion batteries. In the coming years, you will see that all the power sectors will be based on these batteries because of their excellent features, reasonable prince long-lasting, lightweight, and high energy density.

General Information about Lithium Ion Battery and It’s Working

The lithium-ion batteries are made from the anode, cathode, electrolyte, separator, and two current collectors. The purpose of the anode and cathode is to store the lithium, and the electrolyte transfers the positively charged lithium-ion from anode to cathode and vice versa through the liquid separator.  

When the lithium-ion moves, they create the free electrons that create the charge at the positive end, and these charges start moving through the device, cell phone, or laptop towards the battery opposing end. The purpose of the separator is to block the movement of free electrons inside the battery.

Inside a Lithium-ion battery

Now we can see that lithium-ion batteries are available in different shapes and sizes; the manufacturers produce them according to the nature of the devices, like the batteries that are used for mobiles devices are very slim; on the other hand, the batteries that are used in electric vehicles are large and heavy weight.

But one thing common in lithium-ion batteries is they have the same functions inside as you can see in any battery by separating it from any device that the experts do not recommend because this can cause a fire.

The lithium-ion batteries are manufactured in different shapes, like the cylindrical, which looks similar to AA cells, or you may have seen many batteries in the rectangular form. The batteries that are used in the computers consist of off.

The temperature sensors are used to monitor the temperature of batteries in case of any misshaping.

A voltage converter and regulator circuit maintain safe voltage and current levels.

Sometimes we observe that when the battery becomes too hot during the charging, the computer will shut down, or you need to cool the battery for power flow. If you want to use your laptop excessively, you cannot use it until the temperature cools.

Working Of Lithium-Ion Battery

The chargeable batteries are made from the power generating compartments called the cells; it is the primary component of the lithium-ion batteries like any other battery.

A cell consists of three elements a cathode anode and an electrolyte which works as a separator between these two electrodes. The positive electrode is made of lithium, and other metals, mainly cobalt, iron, and phosphate, are used with lithium.

Detailed Working of Electrodes in Lithium Ion Battery

The negative electrode is made from carbon graphite, and the electrolyte is different according to the nature of the battery. The working procedures of the lithium-ion batteries are similar; when the batteries are charged, the positive electrode release some free lithium ions, which move towards the negative electrode through the electrolyte. In this process, the battery stores energy, and you gain the electric current, and the electric gadget you are using is powered.

On the other hand, when the battery is discharging, the whole chemical process happens but in the opposite direction, which means now the anode release the lithium ions towards the cathode. In the same result, electricity is produced, which can power different devices, including mobile phones, laptops, and even vehicles now powered by lithium-ion batteries.

In both the reaction charging and discharging, the free electrons move in the opposite direction of the ions in the battery; the movement of the ions and electrons are interconnected if ones stop, the other one will automatically stop.

When you say that now the battery is discharging, the ions stop moving, and hence the electrons also cannot move, and you will lose the power, which means that your electric device will shut down.

Lithium-ion Cells

The metal is an essential element of the lithium-ion batteries and cells because the metals are pressure-sensitive and have vent holes; when the batteries become too hot and near to explosion, these holes release pressure. If the battery doesn’t release the pressure, it can become useless. So that’s why metals are critical in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries and cells.

What Is The Working Principle Of A Lithium-Ion Battery?

The working principle of the lithium-ion battery depends on its chemistry because we know that inside a battery, a chemical reaction is always happening that powers your devices. So here, we have to understand the chemistry of the lithium-ion battery involved in this process.

We know that in an electrolytic cell, two chemical reactions occur: one is oxidation, and the second is reduction. We can call these reactions as redox.

At the cathode, the reduction occurs, the cobalt oxide combines with lithium-ion, and the lithium cobalt oxide comes into existence. Here is the chemical reaction,

CoO2 + Li+ + e- → LiCoO2

At the anode, oxidation occurs, and the graphite intercalation decomposes into two elements, graphite and lithium ions. Here is the chemical reaction.

LiC6 → C6 + Li+ + e-

The complete chemical reaction is;

LiC6 + CoO2 ⇄ C6 + LiCoO2

The discharging procedure is continued from left to right, and the charging procures are performed from right to left.


It is an essential reaction of the lithium-ion batteries that always occur in lithium batteries. If you want more information, keep in mind the power you are using in your mobile phones and laptops because the charging and discharging is the power source in the batteries.

When we say that the battery is discharging at this time, it provides electric current to the gadgets we are using. The lithium ions are generated from the anode, which moves toward the cathode, and electrons flow from one side to another.

But when you plug the device, the opposite reaction occurs, which means that the cathode releases the lithium ions, which move toward the anode, and as a result, your device again gets the electric current.

Energy and Power density

These are the two most common concepts that we discuss in the batteries, which are the energy density and the power density. The energy density is measured in watt-hours per kilogram, the amount of energy a battery can store according to its mass.

On the other hand, the power density is measured in the watts per kilogram, the amount of power a battery can generate according to its mass.

For a clear understanding, think about draining a pool, the size of the pool is the energy density, and the power density is the ability of how quickly the pool is drained.

The batteries used in the vehicles need to increase the energy density by decreasing the cost and maintaining a good power density acceptable for the battery.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a chemical reaction when the battery is fully charged, the lithium ions are stored in the carbon electrode, which is made from graphite, but when the battery is discharging, these ions start moving towards the oppositely charged electrode. This process is happening vice versa, also known as charging and discharging a battery.

The lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries widely used in mobile phones, laptops, and even electric vehicles, which has increased their importance. The power is produced in the lithium-ion batteries due to the motion of lithium ions and free electrons, and the ion moves from the negative electrode to the positive electrode through the electrolyte.

No battery is more available than a lithium-ion battery because of its incredible features, such as high energy density, long-lasting battery cycles, high charging rate, and affordable cost.

If the lithium-ion batteries are continuously used like this ratio, then in next coming years, every electric gadget will be powered by these batteries, even planes, and rockets.

The lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery that works behind the charging and discharging phenomenon. These batteries are widely used in every field of life, including mobile phones, laptops, and even the transport system. In many countries, buses are also powered by lithium-ion batteries. The movement of lithium ions and electrons generates electricity, which you can do according to your need.