Researchers at Stanford University have developed a lithium-ion battery that releases a flame retardant if the battery temperature hits 160°C, according to the academic journal Science Advances.
The technology would have implications throughout the lithium-ion battery industry, which has been hit in the last year by product fires and airline shipment bans.
The researchers’ experiment report illustrated the flame could be extinguished within 0.4 seconds with no negative effects on the battery’s performance.
The new flame retardant separator consists of triphenyl phosphate (TPP), a common material for suppressing of flame.
The separator is sealed inside a protective polymer shell (PVDF-HFP), which helps to prevent the TPP from directly contacting the electrolyte, thus affecting the performance of the battery.
The polymer shell will melt and release the chemicals to suppress the combustion of the flammable electrolytes when the internal temperature rapidly increased to combustion temperature.