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Hydrogen and Alkali Metals

Characteristics of Group I of the periodic table

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Alkali Metals and Li-Ion batteries

Alkali Metals

You probably already know about a lot of alkali metals. They are placed in the first row of the periodic table. They have 1 electron in their outer shell, and are willing to give it away. This makes them very reactive.

Examples are Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, and of course, Hydrogen. The less common ones are Rubidium, Francium, and Cesium. We can focus on the first 4 as the are more well known to real world applications. For instance, each of these can react with Chloride to make a well known compound. LiCl, NaCl, KCl, and HCl. They are also very reactive in water. It might be hard to imagine, but just dropping these in water creates a reaction! You can watch this video, to see the reaction and learn more about Alkali Metals.

Li-Ion Batteries

One application of these alkali metals can be found in cellphones, computers, and cars!  We’re talking about Lithium-ion batteries. You’ve probably seen the name before but didn’t know what it meant. Lithium-ion batteries are becoming extremely popular today -- especially in personal handheld electronics due to their rechargeable properties. Lithium ion batteries are comprised of a LiCoO2 anode, a Carbon cathode, a micro perforated separator, and lithium ions. When the battery charges, lithium ions travel through the separator and attach themselves to the negative carbon electrode and as energy is used, the ions move back to the positive electrode.

Creative Applications

1. Why are the Alkali Metals so reactive?

2. Infer or research what property of lithium makes Li-Ion batteries rechargeable.

3. How can you prolong the life of Li-ion batteries?

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