Factbox: Lithium manganese battery in focus in Boeing probe

Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:50am EDT

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(Reuters) - Investigators searching for the cause of a fire on a Boeing Co (BA.N) Dreamliner in London last week are looking at the battery in an emergency locator transmitter built by Honeywell International Inc (HON.N), a source familiar with the probe told Reuters on Monday.

That device is powered by a lithium manganese battery, a long-life battery that has been around for decades and used widely in the military as well as products like digital cameras, walkie-talkies and pacemakers.

The following are some facts about these batteries:

- Lithium manganese dioxide batteries (LiMnO2) are disposable, or "primary" batteries, that have a shelf life of 10 years or more. They offer double the voltage and last at least two times longer than cheaper alkaline counterparts.

- They should not be confused with lithium-ion batteries, a powerful family of rechargeable batteries. These devices are used widely in smart phones, electric cars and in other parts of the Dreamliner. In its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, General Motors Co (GM.N) uses a lithium-ion battery with a manganese chemistry.

- Lithium manganese battery cells come in a number of shapes, including the cylindrical form often used in consumer products.

- About half of each cell is made up of manganese dioxide while lithium accounts for 3 to 4 percent, according to a fact sheet from Saft Groupe (S1A.PA) dated November 2012.

- Other makers of lithium manganese batteries include Ultralife (ULBI.O), identified by a source as the supplier to Honeywell, Sony (6758.T), Panasonic (6752.T) and Eagle Picher (EGLP.PK).

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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