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

Back in the early 1990s, when area firefighters gained a get in touch with from Moli Vitality, they realized just where to head: the company’s battery warehouse. The Vancouver-dependent company was the to start with to mass make rechargeable lithium-metal batteries. But the batteries experienced a horrible habit of exploding, which finally led to a enormous remember that bankrupted the company.

30 decades have handed, but today’s lithium-ion batteries are even now wont to blow up. One perpetrator is the liquid electrolyte, a typically flammable natural and organic solvent that facilitates the movement of ions among a battery’s electrodes. Changing this flamable substance with a strong, some argue, could make safer batteries. 

The fact, having said that, is by no means as uncomplicated. Good-point out electrolytes, although absolutely considerably less flammable than their liquid counterparts, aren’t completely immune to fires both. But that could now transform, thanks to new technological know-how designed by a workforce led by Yi Cui, a components scientist at Stanford University.