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

Back again in the early nineteen nineties, when regional firefighters acquired a simply call from Moli Vitality, they understood precisely exactly where to head: the company’s battery warehouse. The Vancouver-dependent company was the to start with to mass deliver rechargeable lithium-metallic batteries. But the batteries had a horrible habit of exploding, which ultimately led to a substantial remember that bankrupted the company.

Thirty decades have handed, but today’s lithium-ion batteries are even now wont to blow up. 1 offender is the liquid electrolyte, a commonly flammable natural and organic solvent that facilitates the stream of ions between a battery’s electrodes. Replacing this combustible substance with a strong, some argue, could deliver safer batteries. 

The truth, nevertheless, is never as very simple. Stable-state electrolytes, even though undoubtedly much less flammable than their liquid counterparts, are not entirely immune to fires either. But that could now improve, thanks to new technology produced by a group led by Yi Cui, a resources scientist at Stanford University.