July 16, 2020


Connecting People

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

Back again in the early nineties, when neighborhood firefighters gained a contact from Moli Energy, they understood accurately where to head: the company’s battery warehouse. The Vancouver-dependent company was the 1st to mass create rechargeable lithium-steel batteries. But the batteries had a unpleasant behavior of exploding, which ultimately led to a huge remember that bankrupted the company.

Thirty many years have handed, but today’s lithium-ion batteries are nonetheless wont to blow up. A single perpetrator is the liquid electrolyte, a generally flammable organic solvent that facilitates the stream of ions between a battery’s electrodes. Changing this flamable substance with a stable, some argue, could create safer batteries. 

The truth, even so, is never as straightforward. Stable-condition electrolytes, when undoubtedly a lot less flammable than their liquid counterparts, are not totally immune to fires either. But that could now alter, many thanks to new technology developed by a crew led by Yi Cui, a components scientist at Stanford University.