Researchers create a battery with built-in fire extinguisher
The ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was not the first handset to face exploding/burning battery issues, and it will not be the last, at least for a while. In the future, however, if the latest battery technology that researchers at Stanford University have revealed goes into mass production, overheating batteries will no longer ignite or explode.
"We have fabricated a novel “smart” nonwoven electrospun separator with thermal-triggered flame-retardant properties for lithium-ion batteries. The encapsulation of a flame retardant inside a protective polymer shell has prevented direct dissolution of the retardant agent into the electrolyte, which would otherwise have negative effects on battery performance," reads the abstract describing the new technology.
As a direct consequence of the design approach described above, this new battery cannot catch fire. When such a battery overheats, the protective polymer melts, and the flame retardant releases to suppress the combustion of the flammable electrolytes. Sadly, we do not know yet if this technology would ever make it to the market.