Li-Air Battery or Li-Oxygen battery is a metal–air electrochemical battery or cell chemistry that utilizes lithium oxidation at the anode and oxygen reduction at the cathode to induce potential difference and the current flow. Research for harnessing the power storage in an efficient manner had begun in 1970s, which has witnessed significant investment in the last few years. Technology is expected to be commercially utilizable by the 2020s. These are expected to find significant applications in smart electronics, proliferating electric vehicles and for power grid backup applications.
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“Light weight, low cost, longer lasting power backup are projected to be the primary factors contributing to the industry growth”
Different packaging techniques to deliver efficient outputs are implemented to enhance the stability of the cells and usability for the commercial purposes. For instance, in April 2016, Cambridge scientists demonstrated lithium air battery that was featured with 90% efficiency and durability of up to 2000 battery cycles. Moreover, these battery are featured with relatively low weight density and charge holding capacity of around 5X the conventional Li-ion cells. These application features are among the prominent factors that have garnered huge R&D investments and are expected to drive growth of the Li-Air battery market over the forecast period.
“Considerable problems owing to the power backup, specifically in the energy grids and the electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to be the prominent applications driving the development of these batteries”
Extensive development to harness the renewable energy sources to their maximum potential requires storage owing to the irregularity of the daily energy outputs. Owing to these factors, the utilization of these energies is limited to peak loads. Moreover, increased mileage of the EVs to garner increased adoption of environment friendly transportation means is expected to drive the demands for relatively higher charge density. Requirements to meet these demands, organizations are expected to explore the options viable to address the concerning issue. This is expected to drive the R&D and commercialization of these power storage options. For instance, Automotive and Surface Transportation, National Research Council of Canada; MIT researchers, and Cambridge scientists are few of the major participants that have witnessed considerable activities for the utilization of the technology.
“Significant challenges in these batteries that include fundamental limitations in terms of electrochemical stability are expected to be the major factors delaying the commercialization of the technology”
Several number of studies that were carried out over the past few years have revealed that high reactivity of the lithium peroxide, which is the after product leads to corrosion of both the carbon cathode layers and electrolyte layer. Moreover, owing to utilization of introduction air humidity, carbon dioxide and other impurities will hamper the utilization of these cells. High heat dissipation, large mechanical stress on the structure, low number of charge cycles, high charge degradation rates also add up to the existing challenges, which are expected to hamper the overall industry growth though the forecast period.
“Considerable number of ongoing and existing alternative approaches for power storages will hinder the Li-air battery market”
Li-ion battery market is the major addressable that the ongoing research and development activities are expected to disrupt over the next few years. Some of these include gold nanowire cell, graphene cells, Microsupercapacitors, sodium ion, and foam batteries are few of the alternatives that can present substantial to the ongoing development in this industry segment. Advent of the technology is expected to create significant demands in the developed economies which will eventually expand to Asia Pacific representing the largest industry share. Addressing the existing technical problems is expected to remain the primary concerns of the industry participants over the next couple of years.
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