Fire-Proof Lithium-Ion Batteries
Liquid electrolyte that solidifies on impact could keep batteries from shorting and catching fire.
To make lithium-ion batteries safer, researchers find out a solution: A liquid electrolyte that becomes solid on impact. The electrolyte could keep batteries from heating up and bursting into flames.And it could be cost-effectively and easily .
Lithium-ion battery cells contain two electrodes separated by a thin plastic sheet and submerged in a liquid electrolyte. If the plastic separator breaks, the electrodes can “touch” each other, shorting the battery and heating it up, which could cause the volatile liquid electrolyte to ignite.
‘No risk’ with new Li-Ion batteries
The research is published in the journal Joule.
“In the past, if you wanted high energy, you would choose a non-aqueous lithium-ion battery, but you would have to compromise on safety. If you preferred safety, you could use an aqueous battery such as nickel/metal hydride, but you would have to settle for lower energy,” said co-author Kang Xu, from the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL).