New tech to prevent Li-ion battery fires

Materials scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have found a way to prevent internal short circuits, the leading cause of fires in Li-ion batteries.

Billions of Li-ion batteries are produced each year for use in cell phones, laptops, personal mobile devices, and huge batteries in electric vehicles and airplanes.

This global battery demand is set to grow, with electric vehicles alone requiring up to 2,700 GWh worth of Li-ion batteries a year by 2030, equivalent to some 225 billion mobile phone batteries.

In most Li-ion battery fires, the cause is due to a build-up of lithium deposits called dendrites (small, wire-like tendrils) that pass through the separator between the positive (cathode) and negative (anode) electrodes of the battery. battery when it charges, causing a short circuit leading to an uncontrolled chemical fire.

To prevent such battery fires, NTU scientists have invented a patent-pending “anti-shorting layer” that can be easily added inside a Li-ion battery, thus preventing any future short- circuit. circuit to occur during the charging process.

This concept is akin to adding a slice of cheese to a burger meat patty between buns, so the new “anti-short layer” can be quickly adopted in today’s battery manufacturing.

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