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

Matthew N. Henry

Back in the early nineties, when area firefighters received a connect with from Moli Vitality, they realized precisely in which to head: the company’s battery warehouse. The Vancouver-dependent organization was the initially to mass create rechargeable lithium-metal batteries. But the batteries had a awful routine of exploding, which ultimately led to a large recall that bankrupted the organization.

30 many years have passed, but today’s lithium-ion batteries are nonetheless wont to blow up. One particular culprit is the liquid electrolyte, a commonly flammable organic and natural solvent that facilitates the circulation of ions amongst a battery’s electrodes. Changing this combustible materials with a stable, some argue, could create safer batteries. 

The actuality, having said that, is by no means as uncomplicated. Good-point out electrolytes, when definitely considerably less flammable than their liquid counterparts, are not solely immune to fires both. But that could now adjust, many thanks to new engineering made by a group led by Yi Cui, a components scientist at Stanford College. 

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