Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Chemical Engineering


A one-dimensional mathematical model for the lithium/thionyl chloride primary cell has been developed to investigate methods of improving its performance and safety. The model includes many of the components of a typical lithium/thionyl chloride cell such as the porous lithium chloride film which forms on the lithium anode surface. The governing equations are formulated from fundamental conservation laws using porous electrode theory and concentrated solution theory. The model is used to predict one-dimensional, time dependent profiles of concentration, porosity, current, and potentialas well as cell temperature and voltage. When a certain discharge rate is required, the model can be used to determine the design criteria and operating variables which yield high cell capacities. Model predictions can be used to establish operational and design limits within which the thermal runaway problem, inherent in these cells, can be avoided.