0517 GMT November 23, 2017
Researchers have developed a flame retardant triphenyl phosphate (TPP) that sits inside a shell within the electrolyte fluid, express.co.uk wrote.
Once the cell reaches temperatures of 150°C the shell melts, releasing the flame extinguishing material. Testing showed that the fires were put out in as little as 0.4 seconds.
The revolutionary invention comes after Samsung were forced to do a worldwide recall of its Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones which were found to be overheating, while many even set on fire, in 2016.
There was even an incident where a Note 7 burned the inside of a hotel room — causing more than €1,000 worth of damage — while another burnt the inside of a Jeep, bursting into flames inside one unlucky man's pocket.
The researchers from Stanford University in the US wrote in their study published in the journal Science Advances: “Although the energy densities of batteries continue to increase, safety problems (for example, fires and explosions) associated with the use of highly flammable liquid organic electrolytes remain a big issue, significantly hindering further practical applications of the next generation of high-energy batteries.
“We have fabricated a novel ‘smart’ nonwoven electrospun separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries.”
The material used is not only more efficient than other flame extinguishing materials, but the fumes that it gives off are also less toxic.
The team added: "It is anticipated that this type of smart separator can be used in other high-energy storage devices, which may encounter thermal runaway safety issues.”