Newly Developed Water-based Electrolyte to Prevent Electronic Explosions
Water-based battery parts are expected to help reduce combustion risks of electronic devices.
Electronics such as phones have been seen to explode on several occasions, causing damage to the surrounding and in worst scenarios causing death of the individual in close proximity to it.
According to an article published in journal Joule in October 2017, scientists have created a water-based battery part to ensure safety while using electronics, preventing any risks of explosion.
The commonly used lithium-ion batteries have electrodes on either sides. These electrodes are made up of organic chemicals that are easily combustible. Water-based batteries have been invented long before, the only drawback remained that they were not very powerful, as water is not very reactive.
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a lithium-ion battery comprising a water-based electrolyte. This enables the battery to be fire-resistant as well as generate up to four volts, similar to an organic electrolyte.
To prevent degrading of the electrolyte, scientists coated the electrodes with a solid coating usually found in organic electrodes. They created the battery using high concentration of salt. The electrolyte was able to create a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI). This provides the electrolytes with a protective layer to prevent them from breaking down, allowing for more energy, along with providing safety from explosion, considering the water base.
These newly developed batteries are more efficient than the previously created water-based ones. However, one major drawback that could prevent manufacturers of electronic devices from using these batteries is that they are capable to work for only 70 cycles. Whereas companies require up to 500 cycles for greater battery life and drainage prevention.
“The next step is to make a longer cycle, we really want to push the technology to a real application and move forward to market.” says Chongyin Yang, engineer and co-author of the study.
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