Feeds

Boffins hose down fiery Li-ion batteries with industrial lubricant

Non-flammable electrolyte found hiding in plain sight

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

As Boeing and Tesla both know, if you mistreat a lithium-ion battery, it can start a fire – which puts a premium on the search for non-flammable components. Now, US researchers say they've found a candidate electrolyte in an unexpected place.

When they're overcharged or overheated, the electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries can burn. However, it's hard to find a non-flammable electrolyte that doesn't degrade battery performance.

As the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains, the chemical, perfluoropolyether, is already known to the world as a coating to stop marine life sticking to the bottom of ships.

They're proposing using perfluoropolyether (or PFPE) as a replacement electrolyte because it's both non-flammable and has good ion transport properties, the university says.

Also familiar as an industrial lubricant, PFPE came to the attention of a UNC chemist, Joseph DeSimone, who noticed that it has a “chemical structure to a polymeric electrolyte commonly studied for lithium-ion batteries” (from their abstract in PNAS, that electrolyte is alkyl carbonate). When his group also found that lithium salts could be dissolved in PFPE, and it remained non-flammable, “that's when we decided to roll with it”.

The PFPE electrolytes up to 200°C, the researchers say, have good electrolytic properties when coupled with the right electrodes (LBNL's Nitash Balsara worked on electrodes for this paper), and have a good cycling lifetime. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?