Stanford Develops Lithium-ion Batteries That Do Not Overheat, Prevents Fire

Stanford University researchers have developed lithium-ion batteries that do not overheat thereby preventing the incidences of fire. The scientists at the University are concentrating particularly on finding a solution to the battery-heating issues caused due to lithium-ion batteries so that occasional fire occurrences can be prevented.

The newly developed batteries shut down automatically when they are overheated and revive again once they have cooled down to a preset range of temperature without affecting the quality of performance. The Stanford News says that these batteries have two electrodes and a liquid or gel-like electrolyte that functions as the carrier of charged particles.

Normal batteries catch fire above 300F temperature

Generally cells are damaged through shorting, puncturing or overcharging, start generating heat, and catch fire if the temperature goes beyond 300F. The new batteries can solve the hoverboard explosion problems. They can be used to prevent fires caused by the household devices such as computers, and recliners that are powered by a battery.

A chemical engineering professor at Stanford, Zhenan Bao said that researchers have been trying different strategies to find a solution to the problem of accidental fires due to lithium-ion batteries. The Stanford-developed batteries are first of its type that can shut down; revive after cooling without compromising on their performance.

How does it work?

Earlier the researchers tried to tackle the problem of fire by using flame-retardants with the electrolyte. However, the new approach is based on nanotechnology in which the researchers used spiky nickel particles with a coating of grapheme and one atom thick carbon layer. The researchers embedded the particles in an elastic polyethylene film which when heated to a temperature beyond 160F expanded separating the spiky particles. This, in turn, shut off the battery.

When the particles cooled down the film, contracts and the particles come together so that the battery can start again. This functioning can be easily manipulated for further use for working with lower or higher temperatures depending upon the type of materials or number of particles.