The world has experienced a remarkable number of innovations in recent times. The aim to improve the quality and comfort of products is paying off. Products such as energy storage systems, power tools and smart home devices need power. Remote-controlled devices and most medical equipment are also a part of this category. Rather, all these devices need reliable and consistent power to work. So, before buying any of these, it is important to consider the batteries that will charge them. This article will look into detail about Lithium vs alkaline batteries.
There are various kinds of batteries you can think of buying. These include lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries and alkaline batteries. Each of them has its features and benefits. And you may consider some of them as better than the others. But the two main competitors these days are Lithium and alkaline batteries. Both of them are best in different aspects. But you surely have to choose one.
So, let’s look at the comparison between the two and see which one is better.
What is a Lithium Battery?
These are rechargeable batteries and contain several basic materials. These include electrolytes, isolation films and positive & negative electrodes. The material used for the cathode is a lithium compound. The “Cathode Electrode” piece of battery uses aluminum foil. The material used for the -ve electrode is a carbon layer compound (also known as graphite). This technology has various uses in portable devices. These include laptops and smartphones.
Benefits of Lithium Battery
The lithium battery is quite popular in the world of batteries. But there are certain reasons behind it. These batteries don’t produce any toxic substances or harmful heavy metals. They do produce substances like mercury, lead and cadmium. But none of these is toxic. Also, they have good recovery value and are not pollutants.
Besides this, lithium batteries have high energy densities. It makes them smaller in size. Also, they have lesser weight as compared to other batteries. They are also capable of holding so much power. So, they are better to use in high-power applications.
Moreover, these batteries are maintenance-free. So, you don’t need to make any effort. Also, their discharge rate is low. All in all, lithium batteries are better than many in various aspects.
Demerits of Lithium Battery
There are very few disadvantages of lithium batteries. And the advancements in them have made them even more efficient. However, these batteries are temperature sensitive. So, they may overheat at any instance. That is the reason why most people don’t rely on them. The overheating may have severe consequences. Besides this, they have high capital costs. But you don’t need to maintain them quite often. So, the overall cost becomes low once you start to use them.
Lithium batteries need safety mechanisms to control voltages. This makes them a critical option for households. All in all, lithium batteries are still better than many of their counterparts.
What is an Alkaline Battery?
Alkaline batteries are the most popular batteries in the world. The reason is their usage in wall clocks, flashlights and many more. These batteries also have electrodes. And their manganese dioxide and zinc electrodes react to generate energy. The alkaline electrolyte of potassium also has a key role to play here.
At first, these batteries were disposable and non-rechargeable. However, some manufacturers have started to make rechargeable alkaline batteries as well. It is a big innovation since you don’t need to dispose of them now. But you cannot charge it as many times as you want. The charging conditions are also strict. So, be careful while buying an alkaline battery if you’re looking for long-term benefits.
Benefits of Alkaline Batteries
Alkaline batteries have only a few advantages. One of them is that there is no short-circuit risk, even in a power surge. Also, these batteries have a longer lifespan. Moreover, storing rechargeable batteries will keep them from losing their voltage. Last but not least, they are cheap compared to lithium batteries.
Demerits of Alkaline Batteries
Lithium batteries have high internal resistance. But that’s not the case with alkaline batteries. They have potassium hydroxide in them, which is a liquid. And it has lesser internal resistance. So, if you keep them in unused devices, they may start to leak. And with this leakage, the battery’s shelf life will also decrease. Also, zinc and manganese dioxides are toxic.
The power densities of these batteries are also low. So you can’t use them in high-power applications. Besides this, rechargeable batteries have a short lifespan. And you can’t charge them much. At the same time, most alkaline batteries are not even rechargeable. Moreover, their weight is higher than those of lithium batteries. Hence, you’ve to be careful before buying these batteries for usage.
Lithium vs Alkaline Batteries
Both these types of batteries can provide enough energy to power your devices. But since you have to pick one, here are some of the differences in terms of comparison:
Both these types of batteries are made of different materials. Their way of generating power is also different. Lithium batteries use lithium compounds to generate power, while alkaline batteries use manganese and zinc dioxide. So, lithium batteries are better because they don’t use toxic materials.
Price is one of the factors that differentiates both batteries. You’ll have to spend almost twice the amount to buy a lithium battery. But that is surely worth it. The reason is that you can’t rely on cheaper options. Or else you’ll have to replace them quite often. So, the best bet is to buy a lithium battery and use it for a long.
Compared to that, alkaline batteries are cheaper. That doesn’t make them less efficient. But the lifespan of lithium batteries is what sets them apart. So, to maximize your savings, the former is a better option.
The power capacity of both batteries is another factor to consider. And you cannot overlook it either. The power tolerance of lithium batteries is high. As a result, they can hold more power for longer periods. Hence, they can provide currents for long. It makes them a good option for solar systems as well. The reason is that solar panels generate power, which you can store for later. So, you can have a significant advantage if you have a solar system installed.
It also ensures that lithium batteries can power your devices for long. However, the case is different for alkaline batteries. Since you cannot recharge them much, they could be better in this regard. So, lithium batteries are better for high-power applications.
Lithium batteries are temperature-sensitive. So, you can’t use them in extreme temperatures. But they are good for low-temperature conditions. Modern lithium batteries can work in extreme conditions as well. But alkaline batteries cease to function under such circumstances. Their water-based electrolyte doesn’t let them work well in cold weather.
As a result, you can use lithium batteries for outdoor applications. It is also the reason why people consider lithium batteries for extreme weather. This may depend on their operating temperature ranges. However, lithium batteries work well in a wide range of temperatures.
Which One is Better?
The Lithium vs alkaline batteries depend on why you’re buying them. Some people need them for flashlights or wall clocks only. At the same time, others want them to be part of their solar system. So, the choice depends on your needs. But based on the facts, a lithium battery is better. There are certain reasons behind it.
The energy density of alkaline batteries is high. They also last longer as compared to other batteries. But they are prone to leakages. So, you cannot rely on them since the leakage may occur at any moment. It may also damage your battery, which you never want. However, this is not the case with lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are also lighter in weight. It is the reason why you can use them in portable devices like mobiles. Nowadays, some high-tech devices are also using these batteries.
Last but not least, the lifespan of lithium batteries is high. One of the reasons is that they are secondary batteries. It means that you can charge them again and again. However, the case is different for alkaline batteries since they are not rechargeable.
So, if you compare the two, lithium batteries have more advantages than alkaline batteries. Though the cost of the former is high, it also has a longer lifespan. It makes it a better choice as compared to its counterpart (alkaline battery).
There are various kinds of batteries you can choose for different purposes. Some of them are good for household usage. In contrast, others are better for portable devices only. But you’ve to decide what you want based on long-term benefits. In Lithium vs alkaline batteries, it is better to go with lithium batteries because of all the benefits mentioned above. But you cannot overlook the importance of alkaline batteries. Cost is one of the factors that may play a role. But you must also consider other factors before buying any of these. So, research properly and then invest your money in the right product.