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A Battery Contains 'Fire Extinguisher' Discovered

First Posted: Jan 18, 2017 03:20 AM EST
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The scientists at Stanford University developed a new lithium-ion battery that contains "fire extinguisher" material. In case there is overheating, the fire extinguisher is released.

The discovery was published in Science Advances. The fire extinguisher material is known as the flame retardant triphenyl phosphate (TPP). It is placed inside a shell within the electrolyte fluid. Once the shell melted at the temperature 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit), the chemical compound is released. The battery fires were extinguished in 0.4 seconds based on the tests.

This discovery would be helpful and useful for the safety of the users. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board warned about lithium batteries particularly in aeroplane cargo that such batteries could trigger a fire and explosion ignition source. It is also known that if a lithium-ion battery cell charges very fast or a tiny manufacturing error slips in the net could cause a short circuit that leads to fire, according to BBC News.

One incident that batteries have been blamed for fire and explosion was the Galaxy Note 7. The batteries of Galaxy Note 7 triggered the phone to catch fires last year. On the other hand, Samsung did not confirm that this was the cause of the fire. It said that it understands the need for answers and appreciates the continued patience as well as that of its valued customers, partners and stakeholders. It further said that it is working diligently to guarantee that comprehensive update and will provide more information in the coming weeks once it has the final report.

Meanwhile, the researchers of the new battery said that their discovery could open new doors for safer, high-density application for batteries. They further said that although the energy densities of batteries continue to increase, safety problems remain a big issue, significantly hindering their further practical applications. They also described the fire retardant and the shell, which are made of poly (vinylidene fluoride-hexafluoropropylene) that can manage the risk, according to ZDNet.

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