University of Maryland researchers studying how lithium batteries fail have developed a new technology that could enable next-generation electric vehicles (EVs) and other devices that are less prone to battery fires while increasing energy storage.
The innovative method, presented in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, suppresses the growth of lithium dendrites—damaging branch-like structures that develop inside so-called all-solid-state lithium batteries, preventing firms from broadly commercializing the promising technology. But this new design for a battery “interlayer,” led by Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Chunsheng Wang, stops dendrite formation, and could open the door for production of viable all-solid-state batteries for EVs.
At least 750,000 registered EVs in the U.S. run on lithium-ion batteries—popular because of their high energy storage but containing a flammable liquid electrolyte component that burns when overheated. While no government agency tracks vehicle fires by type of car, and electric car battery fires appear to be relatively rare, they pose particular risks; the National Transportation Safety Board reports that first responders are vulnerable to safety risks, including electric shock and the exposure to toxic gasses emanating from damaged or burning batteries.
Source : UMD