Li-Ion battery design 'flawed'
It won't come as much of a surprise to Sony, but the present design of lithium-ion cell batteries that power our consumer electronics is flawed, according to Japanese researchers. The startling announcement has been made by the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which claims that such batteries must be redesigned to avoid further potential dangers.
A spokesperson at the institute has described the average lithium-ion battery as “quite a dangerous little box of energy” and said changes must be made to the way batteries are developed, in order to make them safer and robust enough for our everyday gadget needs. For example, it has been claimed that encasing a battery’s electrodes in a solid polymer electrolyte, rather than submerging them in an organic solvent, could be safer.
The Institute’s claims are supported by evidence from a spokesman at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, who says that companies are “less cautious about designing batteries with a focus on safety”.
Some manufacturers would be wise to sit-up and take note, as there have been dozens of reports of potentially dangerous batteries over the last few months. For example, thousands of Sony batteries have already been recalled over safety fears and earlier this month it was announced that some 46m Nokia handset batteries could be dodgy.
An alternative design was recently unveiled by researchers in the US, who developed a flexible paper battery that can pump out around 2.5 volts, enough power to illuminate a small light.
of weaponising lithium ion batteries I mean beside putting them in craptops and sending them on flights around the world, oh wait!
1000 in 1000million is 0.0001%
I have some doubts...
So, if I understand you correctly, paper batteries may be better than Li-ion because Li-ion batteries sometimes catch fire. Hmmm...
This may be a silly question, but where is your evidence that paper batteries *can't* burn?
Lithium batteries have not been known for "a hundred years", but barely half that. Since Mr. Anon quoted Wikipedia, this article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery) states clearly that the first lithium ion battery design was made available in the 1960s, and (quoted) "the first commercial lithium ion battery was released by Sony in 1991".
Lithium metal batteries have been in existence for quite a while longer, but I doubt there is any inherent instability in them, otherwise they would probably not be used in pacemakers.
The battery itself has, of course, a long history that goes back to Mr. Volta in the year 1800 (http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-2.htm). It is nothing short of astonishing to read that the fuel cell was invented in 1839, the lead-acid battery in 1859, and the nickel-cadmium that we all know in 1899.
Battery technology that is still used today was invented more than a century ago, but the most recent lithium technology is a refinement that is a lot younger than the rest of the field.
If the poobahs at TiT (Tokyo Institute of Technology) have pronounced mainstream Li-ion batteries dangerous then we should quickly discard such technology (in an environmentally friendly way) and move to a solid polymer electrolyte as soon as it is available. In the meantime we can use inherently safe lemon batteries or perhaps potato batteries to tide us over the development/manufacturing time.
While lemon/potato batteries are a bit bulkier than common Li-ion they can be made at home and are extremely recyclable.