When exposed to an open flame from a lighter, pouch batteries made with today’s commercial current collectors caught fire and burned vigorously until all the electrolyte burned away, Ye said. But in batteries with the new flame-retardant collectors, the fire never really got going, producing very weak flames that went out within a few seconds, and did not flare up again even when the scientists tried to relight it.
One of the big advantages of this approach, Cui said, is that the new collector should be easy to manufacture and also cheaper, because it replaces some of the copper with an inexpensive polymer. So scaling it up for commercial production, he said, “should be very doable.” The researchers have applied for a patent through Stanford, and Cui said they will be contacting battery manufacturers to explore the possibilities.
This work was supported by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office under the eXtreme Fast Charge Cell Evaluation of Lithium-ion Batteries (XCEL) program.
Citation: Yusheng Ye et al., Nature Energy, 15 October 2020 (10.1038/s41560-020-00702-8)
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