Feeds

Exploding-battery epidemic caused by 'lithium moss'

iPod trouser inferno horror a thing of the past?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Researchers at Cambridge University have proposed using nuclear magnetic resonance to work out why lithium batteries keep exploding.

Lithium batteries are great - lots of battery life and relatively fast charge time: so it seems churlish to avoid using them just 'cos they blow up every now and then. But now researchers are hopeful that a new way of looking at the problem will yield methods to prevent even that minor drawback.

The problem is in the dendrites - tiny fibres of lithium that form on the carbon anode when you charge a lithium battery. Charge it too fast, and too often, and the dendrites get long enough to short out the battery - cue explosion.

The details of how dendrites form are opaque; they're more usually associated with the freezing process and it's hard to look into a charging battery using optical or scanning electron microscopes, which is why NMR is now being proposed.

The paper describing the process, which appears in the Nature Materials, calls for a very small lithium-ion battery - about 1cm long - which can be watched in minute detail by an NMR scanner to monitor how the dendrites (or Li-moss as the researchers term it) grows.

The idea is that once the process is observed in real time scientists will be able to play around with the conditions to find out why it happens and, ideally, prevent it. That's going to be really important if we're going to be driving around in lithium-ion-powered cars, or riding lithium-powered motorcycles - though what happens when they hit each other is another question entirely. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.