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Why Can't I Recharge Disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 12:50 PM

Ok, so a quick google search only lead to many forums saying "don't do it" but none giving any details as to why not.

I know there was an issue with some laptop and mobile phone lithium batteries exploding because of impurities during high demand use or recharge. Is this related to why one shouldn't recharge these batteries?

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Guru

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#1

Re: Why can't I recharge disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 1:06 PM

Did it ever occur to you that the term "lithium" when used with these batteries is just a marketing ploy??

I used to play a golf ball that had a "lithium surlyn" cover. It didn't go any straighter than "non-lithium" balls.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Why can't I recharge disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 2:35 PM

Lithium, as applied to batteries, is not a marketing ploy any more than "lithium" grease is just a marketing ploy. Lithium batteries last for ten years in things like smoke detectors. They are not rechargeable because the chemical reaction is not easily reversed, electrically.

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Re: Why can't I recharge disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/22/2011 12:17 PM

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#2

Re: Why can't I recharge disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 1:28 PM
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#3
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Re: Why can't I recharge disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 1:58 PM

Anon is not talking about rechargeable lithium "ion" batteries.

These are "lithium" iron batteries which cannot be recharged. They have high power density, that's all.

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Power-User

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Why can't I recharge disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 2:39 PM

Thanks MB and LynLynch, that is what I was looking for. I knew there had to be a fairly simple answer...just hadn't found it.

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#6

Re: Why Can't I Recharge Disposable Lithium Batteries?

02/20/2011 7:28 PM

There are 2 generations of Lithium battery technology in the market.

First generation is the original metallic cathode construction, not much different to the old zinc carbon cell.

Attempting to recharge these is fraught as the redeposition is 'random' leading to concentrated current paths - heat - explosion.

The second generation/s* use a granular lithium approach, so totally different construction, plus various 'doping' materials; which has 'solved the problem' of recharge-ability.

In checking my memory on this, I found you a link. which on quick scan, seems to cover everything quite well. You can 'glaze over' during the 'chemistry' and still follow the 'innovation history'.

*This might interest on the laptop question.

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