Skip main navigation

Material combinations

Battery material combinations
© University of Wollongong, 2019

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

For example, the lithium-ion battery has lithium-intercalated graphite on the anode and lithium cobalt complex materials on the cathode (when the battery is being discharged). 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?
© University of Wollongong, 2019
This article is from the free online

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

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education