Most of our electronic devices these days are powered by lithium-ion batteries which are great when they work, but not so great when they explode. We’ve seen that happen countless times in the past, with the more recent incidents stemming from Samsung’s snafu with the Galaxy Note 7 handset.

However it is possible that in the future we might be living in a world where exploding batteries are no longer an issue. This is thanks to researchers at the Navy who have come up with safe, rechargeable nickel-zinc batteries that not only offer up similar performance to lithium-ion batteries, but have the added benefit of not exploding on you.

Zinc is typically found in batteries of the single-use variety and not in rechargeable ones. This is due to the fact that it can form conductive dendrites over time that can cause equipment to short circuit, but thanks to work done by the US Naval Research Laboratory, they created a specially designed 3D sponge on the zinc anode that helps distribute currents more uniformly, which in turn prevents dendrites from forming.

The good news is that the NRL claims that their research is now complete which means that the technology is ready to be deployed within zinc-based alkaline batteries for both military and civilian applications. It has been estimated that the first batteries to employ this technology will make its commercial debut by the end of 2019.

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