A flexible lithium-ion battery designed by a group of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and built to operate under extreme conditions—along with cutting, submersion, and simulated ballistic impact—can add incombustible to its résumé.
Current Li-ion batteries are inclined to catastrophic fire and explosion incidents—most of which arrive without any audible warning—because they’re built with flammable and combustible supplies. Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones had been outlawed from airlines as a result of this hazard, and the Navy’s prohibition of e-cigarettes on ships and submarines is a direct response to the need to scale back the flammability of such devices.
With these batteries emerging as the energy storage vehicle of choice for moveable electronics, electric automobiles, and grid storage, these safety developments mark a significant step forward in remodeling the way Li-ion batteries are built and utilized in electronic gadgets.
In research revealed recently in the journal Chemical Communications, the group, led by Konstantinos Gerasopoulos of APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Division, details its newest discovery: a brand new category of “water-in-salt” and “water-in-basalt” electrolytes—known as WiS and WiBS, respectively—that, when added in a polymer matrix, reduces water activity and elevates the battery’s power capabilities and life cycle while ridding it of the flammable, toxic, and extremely reactive solvents in current Li-ion batteries.