You might have come across warnings in the past about how if you notice that your phone swells up, it could be a sign that it could explode as the swelling would be caused by the lithium-ion battery in it. You might have also come across stories of phones catching fire, also possibly due to its lithium-ion battery, and some more famous lithium-ion battery problems include Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner which has been grounded several times due to issues with its battery. Well the good news is that thanks to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, flammable lithium-ion batteries could soon be made a thing of the past.
According to the researchers, they claimed to have developed the first non-flammable lithium-ion battery, which was achieved by replacing the electrolyte’s flammable organic solvent with an industrial lubricant which is known as perfluoropolyether (PFPE). This industrial lubricant is typically used in maritime applications to prevent sealife from sticking to the bottom of large boats. Leader researcher, Joseph DeSimone, says, “These electrolytes not only are completely nonflammable, but they also exhibi unprecedented high transference numbers and low electrochemical polarization, indicative of longer battery life.” Now the bad news is that this discovery is far from being made commercial as additional testing has to be performed, such as whether it will be able to withstand constant charging and discharging, as well as how to mass produce it, but it is a development worth keeping an eye on.