A Lithium-Ion Battery That Works Even When It’s on Fire

Nancy J. Delong

Back in the early nineteen nineties, when nearby firefighters received a phone from Moli Electrical power, they realized just where to head: the company’s battery warehouse. The Vancouver-primarily based organization was the to start with to mass produce rechargeable lithium-metal batteries. But the batteries experienced a unpleasant behavior of exploding, which eventually led to a substantial recall that bankrupted the organization.

Thirty years have handed, but today’s lithium-ion batteries are nonetheless wont to blow up. A person perpetrator is the liquid electrolyte, a ordinarily flammable natural solvent that facilitates the movement of ions concerning a battery’s electrodes. Changing this combustible materials with a stable, some argue, could produce safer batteries. 

The fact, having said that, is never ever as easy. Strong-point out electrolytes, although undoubtedly less flammable than their liquid counterparts, are not fully immune to fires possibly. But that could now alter, thanks to new know-how created by a group led by Yi Cui, a elements scientist at Stanford University. 

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