Promising high energy lithium battery ditches pure oxygen for air

Interpreting cycle life can generally be difficult for lithium–air batteries, notes Venkat Viswanathan, at Carnegie Mellon University, US. A common way to determine cycle life in lithium–ion batteries involves measuring charge delivered with each battery charge and discharge. However, for lithium–air batteries, those delivered charges can also come from many other reactions other than the one desired between lithium and oxygen. Viswanathan wonders how many parasitic processes are happening in this battery that could artificially enhance its cycle life, and minimising those parasitic processes will be crucial to making a commercially viable long-lasting lithium–air battery.