Material combinations

Scientists have worked on batteries, the consistency of their materials and their efficiency for generations now.

In many batteries, we find the following materials:

  • Lead
  • Cobalt
  • Nickel
  • Manganese
  • Graphite
  • Aluminium
  • Magnesium
  • Lithium
  • Sodium
  • Copper

Often these materials are combined together in the battery electrodes. For example, the lithium-ion battery has lithium and graphite on the cathode and a lithium cobalt complex material on the anode. The graphite is made up of many layers that allow the lithium ions to move in and out of the anode easily.

Conversation Starter

  • We encourage you to do some quick research on 1-3 of the materials listed.
  • What are some of the issues with the materials listed above?
  • Are these materials abundant? Easy to obtain? Spread evenly across the earth?

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This article is from the free online course:

How to Survive on Earth: Energy Materials for a Sustainable Future

University of Wollongong

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