July 18, 2024


The Internet Generation

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

Back in the early 1990s, when regional firefighters acquired a phone from Moli Vitality, they understood exactly where to head: the company’s battery warehouse. The Vancouver-based company was the 1st to mass generate rechargeable lithium-metal batteries. But the batteries experienced a nasty habit of exploding, which sooner or later led to a huge remember that bankrupted the company.

30 many years have passed, but today’s lithium-ion batteries are however wont to blow up. One offender is the liquid electrolyte, a usually flammable natural and organic solvent that facilitates the movement of ions concerning a battery’s electrodes. Replacing this flamable product with a strong, some argue, could generate safer batteries. 

The reality, however, is by no means as basic. Reliable-state electrolytes, though unquestionably significantly less flammable than their liquid counterparts, are not completely immune to fires possibly. But that could now improve, many thanks to new engineering formulated by a group led by Yi Cui, a materials scientist at Stanford College.