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The generation of electric power may face possible difficulties in the transmission processes due to various factors such as fluctuations. For this reason, power generating companies in the UAE found it necessary to develop the battery technology that could be used as substitute power source in case of any power difficulties. The purpose of the study is to illuminate the revival and development of the battery technology as a new storehouse for electricity. Additionally, the study aims at identifying the environmental impacts of Lithium batteries application. The study employed peer-reviewed literature and interviews in the collection of data on the subject. Results were obtained confirming that the new lithium-ion batteries are indeed a convenient source of the stored energy, but, however, they have adverse effects on the environment. The batteries are therefore advisable sources of energy on the condition that their toxicity to the environment is well controlled.

Supply of energy has been in constant demand over the years, with the advancement in technology and other energy-run systems. For this reason, power generation and supply organizations need to fill the gap created by power shortages and other power short-comings (Li & Lai, 2013). High quality, durable and environmental-friendly alternative sources of energy are necessary to be established to cushion the possible fluctuations in power supply leading to shortages and inconveniences in daily business operations. The use of battery technology as an alternative power source was proposed for this purpose. Batteries provide reliable sources of electricity stored as chemical energy due to their durability and dependability. Lithium batteries, specifically, are of good quality, high density and last long (Lian et al., 2010). However, there are some challenges in using lithium-based batteries for storage and transmission of power (Etacheri, Marom, Elazari,Salitra, & Aurbach, 2011). The Lithium metal is very scarce, therefore most power-generator companies find it difficult to implement its use in portable batteries. Despite this set-back, Lithium portable batteries still present a promising power storage alternative due to its highly recommended qualities.

The goal of this study is to identify some of the environment effects of using lithium as a source of raw materials in making batteries using different supportive literature. Lithium batteries today are applicable for various purposes. Unlike the past decades, when the batteries were too bulky and thus could not be moved, currently, an average battery is small and easily portable. The use of new cathode materials in dry cells has made the standardization of these dry cells possible for easier portability. High power Lithium cells of 200-250Wh are used in powering appliances in the military (Thackeray at el., 2007). The Lithium metal is mostly recommended in battery technology due to its strong ionic properties. Therefore the lithium ionic liquid would be useful in developing high-density batteries. However, improvements are still required on the temperature restrictions of lithium batteries. The batteries function best between 10-40 degrees Celsius.

Despite its various merits, the proposed use of lithium battery technology presents the challenge of environmental degradation that is crucial to address as well. The introduction of the batteries to the environment exposes the soil to dangerous chemicals that eventually affect ecosystem and climate. According to research studies conducted on environmental effects of Lithium, the bioaccumulation of the lithium mineral would be toxic to the ground and water bodies since the contents are not edible by plants and, thus, not likely to disintegrate with time. For this reason, environmental degradation as a result of lithium toxins needs to be checked. Controlled amounts of Lithium can be used to mitigate the effects of bipolar disorder, but if administered in excess, it would cause harm to the people. A patient suffering from an overdose of lithium would experience confusion and slurred speech and may eventually result in loss of life.

Research Questions

To ensure the study follows the course required to achieve its purpose, formulation of research questions is necessary. Several research questions can be derived from the study to address the goal.

1. In the UAE, which are the most probable future uses of lithium batteries?

The research question will tend to examine how lithium based batteries are used in the current market. It will explore how different portable gadgets use lithium batteries as a source of energy. The research question will only be based on the UAE application.

2. Which methods are employed in the management of thermal heat in batteries?

Currently, lithium batteries suffer from the issue of thermal heat. To identify the thermal optimization effects on the batteries, the study will build a framework that will help to find the effect of thermal heat on the environment.

3. What environmental impacts do the UAE stand to experience as a result of lithium batteries?

For the research paper to be comprehensive, the research question would be able to establish a direct relationship between lithium batteries usage and environmental effects. The process will establish the correlation between raw lithium products and waste on the environment.

Literature Review

The following review of literature gives an array of research studies conducted with the aim of describing the development of battery technology in the UAE along with its future uses. The review also provides the analysis of environmental research done on the safety of lithium. The literature brings out the concept as a double-edged sword in highlighting several arguments on the promising future of the lithium battery technology in supplying energy as opposed to the great harm it could cause the environment. The literature will touch on various aspects of lithium technology paying close respect to the UAE bill.

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Future Use of Lithium-ion battery technology

The study by Naoki Nitta et al. (2015) explains that Li-ion batteries count as a unique combination of high energy and density suitable for portable devices. The scholars further argue that lithium-ion batteries would be of benefit by substantially minimize greenhouse gasses emitted to the atmosphere if electric cars run by Li-ion batteries completely phase out oil transportation. For this reason, keen interest has been put on the development of Li-ion batteries by the government agencies and industries alike. Naoki Nitta et al. (2015), however, argue that many still doubt that Li-on batteries would be a solution to future powering of portable devices citing that the Lithium metal is quite expensive. The issue of future depletion of the Lithium used in Li-ion batteries is also possible. Heng and Razlan (2015) present the challenge of Li-ion battery's sensitivity to temperature that may cause difficulty in power transmission.

Scrosati and Garche (2010), on the other hand, argue that the Li-ion has several advantages over various other cells such as fuel cells, Li-air and Li-sulfur. The scholars further explain that Lithium being the 3rd largest element has a very small ionic radii making Li-ion batteries to possess a very high power density and volume capacity that is very convenient for batteries powering portable devices. Gruber et al. (2011) further dispute LithiumВ’s possible depletion in future claiming that the volume of Lithium available in the earthВ’s crust is quite large. Van Schalkwijk and Scrosati (2007) explain that the expensive cost of Lithium still presents a problem, but the scholars argue that the Lithium metal is only used in small volumes to make up the cathode and electrolyte of the Li-ion batteries. The Lithium should not be too costly to purchase since only a small portion is needed. With several additions to the cathode, Li-ion batteries are believed to be efficient and have a large volume capacity. Gruber et al. (2011) also present the concept of thermal management that would solve the issue of Li-ion battery's high sensitivity to temperature. The electric vehicle industry considers the Li-ion batteries as a constant and reliable power source.

Management of Thermal Heat in Batteries

The issue of thermal heat is one of the factors that contribute to the quality of good thermal batteries. Rao and Wang (2011) discovered that one of the factors affecting the quality of lithium battery plus the effect of the environment depends on the quality of thermal optimization. The model assumes that the more the thermal heat on a battery the more it has changed for a short life span. Thus, the short life span makes the lithium battery to be disposed of in the environment causing environmental issues. Light (2017) argued that one of the most important factors to consider is the efficiency on reducing heat loss in lithium based batteries. The sole purpose of the whole aspect is to ensure that the batteries have a longer lifespan. Also, the model assumes when the heat reduction has reduced, the efficiency of the lithium battery becomes higher compared to when there is more heat loss. Li, Hui and Lai (2013) are among the researchers who identified the issue of lithium battery storage related to thermal heat loss and conservation. Their study articulates that batteries with lithium can be stored easily avoiding wastage. The process and the model identify that most of the lithium batteries are wasted in the process of storage causing an adverse environment effect. The model tends to examine a different aspect of controlling the thermal heat in lithium batteries in order to control the issue of waste and lifespan, thus, protecting the environment.

Environmental Impact of Lithium-ion Battery Technology

According to Notter et al. (2010), a life cycle analysis study conducted on Li-ion batteries pointed out that recycling should be done on these batteries in the UAE to prevent environment degradation and health disorders. The use of nickel and cobalt cathodes in batteries presents more harm to the environment regarding depletion of resources, global warming, negative effects on human health, and degradation of the ecosystem. The study explained that the manufacture of cobalt and nickel in developing batteries resulted in negative effects on the respiratory and pulmonary systems of those who work for the manufacturing plant. Lithium also portrays adverse effects on human health causing delirium and eventual death (Notter et al., 2010). The report emphasizes on recycling used lithium-ion batteries in the UAE claiming that it is the initial process of battery construction that mostly affects the environment, therefore, if mitigated, can significantly reduce the effects of degradation. Several measures could be undertaken in recycling used Li-ion batteries (Deng et al., 2009). The used cells could be refurbished and re-used in other electronic devices. The electrolytes in the used cells could be renewed to rejuvenate the batteries and re-use them as well.

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Summary

The development of Li-ion batteries is a great advancement in modern science due to the technology's future capacity to store high energy densities in large volumes. However, the manufacture and disposal of Li-ion batteries pose a major threat to the environmental well-being in the UAE (Aral &Vecchio- Sadus, 2008). Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the UAE government enforces the recycling of the used lithium-ion batteries to prevent further environmental degradation. Also, the aspect of controlling heat in lithium batteries is cobsidered in different models ensuring the quality of lithium batteries.

Methodology

The process of data collection is quite crucial for the continuation of the research. The research methods adopted should be evaluated carefully before implementation to ensure that they are appropriate for the requirements of the study. The research conducted on the development of Lithium-ion battery technology and its environmental impacts was done using the following methods: interviews and analysis of the peer-reviewed sources.

Research Approach

To achieve the objectives of the research, primary data was obtained from 10 interviews conducted with professors of environmental studies with proficiency in the field of the modern science. Additionally, secondary data was obtained from the peer-reviewed literature accounting for empirical research done on the Lithium-ion battery technology as well as its effects on the well-being of the environment (Bryman & Bell, 2015). The research, therefore, adopted qualitative analysis in evaluation of the opinion-based data collected from the interviews regarding environmental impacts, and useful inferences were made from the responses. Whereas the scholarly literature was reviewed and compiled, the various investigations were done on the subject of Lithium-ion batteries.

Data Analysis

The data analysis process will entail different mechanisms to ensure a validity of the research paper. The secondary data obtained from various sources will give the numerical estimation behind the whole aspect. The whole process will entail having a common goal analysis based on the statistical data and the literature.

Validity and Reliability

To ensure that the data collected was accurate (validity) and not biased on the researcherВ’s point of view, questions formulated for the purpose of interviewing were carefully assessed. The questions have to be in line with the research objectives to provide information that is truly useful to the study (Bryman & Bell, 2015). To ensure consistency in the research (reliability), different types of questions provoking the same characteristic of answers were included in the interviews to test whether the responses are standard and undeviating.

Findings

After data collection phase, useful information was retrieved in line with the objectives that the research study aimed to achieve. The array of results and their explanations (discussions) are outlined below.

Research Question 1

The first research question was answered by the qualitative analysis of the scholarly literature. The obtained data obtained described lithium-ion battery technology as a very promising component of the modern science. The lithium-ion batteries are going to be developed shortly by establishing advancements that could guarantee the storage of a high-density energy by the batteries. The capacity of energy the batteries can hold would eventually revolutionize the electric car industry in the UAE. The available capacity volume of batteries on the market is up to 2.5 AH (Figure 1).

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Figure 1. Batteries capacity

Lithium-ion batteries have the capacity to power electric cars with minimum supervision and less time taken to charge the batteries. The durability and high power density are promising qualities that would see Li-ion batteries put to use in single-handedly powering electric cars in the UAE contributing significantly to the advancement of the national economy.

So the probability of lithium usage in the future will be high since it is used in most devices in the UAE, especially portable gadgets. Thus, lithium still has a greater probability of increasing environmental effects in the future.

Research Question 2

The second research question was answered by qualitative analysis of the interviews with environmental experts in the esteemed universities. According to the environmental studies professors conversant with modern science, Li-ion batteries are very effective batteries. They are however very sensitive to temperature since they have a tendency to self-heat which causes a deterioration in their durability and ultimately affects the environment. The professors suggest a solution in which graphene fillers are used in phase changes where heat loss is most prominent. The use of graphene fillers in the process of phase change would revolutionize the process to one of hybrid nature. A hydrocarbon-based phase change would be useful in increasing the thermal conductivity of the batteries by increasing its capacity to store heat energy. The improvement in heat conduction would improve the thermal management of the batteries decreasing the high degrees of heat loss from the Li-ion batteries. The argument was also supported by the empirical research obtained from the secondary sources.

Lithium batteries have more life span when the issue of thermal heat is reduced. The aspect is one of the factors that will reduce the level of lithium pollution on the environment.

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Research question 3.

The third research question was answered by a combined qualitative analysis of the interview responses and the peer-reviewed literature. According to the inferences drawn the Li-ion batteries expose the environments to great extents of harm both in its manufacture and disposal. According to the literature on Li-ion batteries, during the production of the batteries, individuals involved in the factory process are exposed to harmful gas emissions that pose a threat to the individuals' respiratory and pulmonary systems. In the disposal phase, the accumulation of lithium minerals in the soil are unfavorable for plants' consumption as well as water bodies. Figure 2 represents the amount of lithium metal in batteries.

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Figure 2. Lithium content in batteries

The exposure of the environment to Lithium possesses a harmful effect on the eco- system. The environmentalist, therefore, shared the enthusiasm of the prospects of the Li-ion battery technology, however, they expressed dire concern in its environmental impacts. The experts expressed the need for recycling of the Li-ion batteries as opposed to disposal to mitigate its toxic effects on the environment.

The following are some of the environmental effects of lithium-based batteries:

В· The lithium ions are harmful to the plants since they reduce nutrients amount.

В· In the manufacturing plants, the gasses produced during the process cause air pollution.

В· The waste from lithium is harmful to the aquatic life when washed away to the water bodies.

Discussion

Research Question 1

The following implications of the results can be formulated.

Social: The efficiency of the batteries with high storage capability has enabled the process of consumer consumption to be controlled in different ways. First, the amount of batteries purchases is low. Also, manufacturers are reducing the amount of adverse effects raw materials produced on the environment.

Technical: The durability enables the production plants to seek more technical knowledge in providing effective batteries in the future.

Economic: The lithium batteries will so far be the most economical option in the future. The batteries are now applied in portable devices allowing more efficiency in procuring raw materials and the cost of production.

Research Question 2

The obtained findings allow to make the following conclusions.

Social: The issue has no adverse effect socially, though on the other side it ensures maximum customer satisfaction due to the efficiency of the batteries.

Technical: The improvement of the technology that reduces the thermal heat in the lithium batteries has caused a condition for improvement in the technical industry. Thus, creating different thermal heat reduction forms has led to technological advancements that reduce environmental effects.

Ethical: The ethical background behind the production of lithium batteries with less thermal emission has enabled environment conservation making the process ethically upright.

Economic: The opportunity of thermal heat reduction has also caused an opportunity for the plants to increase an income, although lithium batteries that are produced with less thermal reduce seem to be expensive to manufacture.

Research Question 3

The implications of the findings are the following.

Social: The workers in different industries are exposed to harmful gasses creating a condition where they get ill frequently. The emissions and gasses are considered to be a contributing factor to cancer and respiratory diseases.

Technical: The issue of environmental effect can be resolved with the help of technological advancements such as the production of cycling plants. The recycling plants have created a good background for technical improvements in the production industry.

Ethical: Though lithium batteries have a great impact on the economy, the ethical practices behind the production are wrong putting people life in danger in different ways.

Economic: On the issue of economic impact, the factor contributes to the creation of employment despite the environmental effects. However, a greater amount of money is used in environment conservation compared to the creation of employment.

During the study some of the following aspects were important to note.

Limitations: The literature has concentrated on the theoretical approach of the survey. However, most of the practical models are not tested in real life. The scholars have based most of their research on theoretical assumption without any practical background.

Future research: The research gap surrounding the topic is how the given models can be applied in the real life situation. The practical implication of thermal reduction and the technical analysis behind it might provide a useful framework to reduce the aspect of pollution and distraction of the environment.

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In conclusion, the lithium-ion batteries are considered by scientists as the revolutionary high-density energy power source. The Li-on batteries present good qualities that well surpass other forms of power storage batteries. The batteries' durability, high power density capabilities, and large volume capacity set them apart from the rest of the dry cells in the market such as the fuel cells. For this reason, extensive investigations are frequently conducted to determine ways in which to establish advancement in the Li-ion battery technology to be able to implement the batteries in powering large scale devices such as electric vehicles. The use of electric cars in the UAE is quite popular judging from the various number of electric vehicle charging points in Dubai and other cities. The advancement in Li-ion battery technology would guarantee the eventual development of the UAE electric car industry ensuring further economic growth and development for the country.

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