Fear that your phone would go out in style with a big kaboom? You won’ need to, thanks to a new and wacky invention patented by a team of think-tanks from the Stanford University. This intrepid team of researchers managed to create the world’s first lithium ion battery that packs its own fire extinguisher.
As part of a new project whose aim is to deliver safer batteries, a team of scientists from Stanford University managed to create a lithium-ion battery which contains triphenyl phosphate or TPP for short. It may not sound as much, but it would seem that TPP is one of most efficient fire retardants, widely used in fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems.
As we’ve come to understand, this is not the first time someone attempted to place TPP inside a battery. Past attempts of devising a battery with its own fire extinguishing system ended in fiasco, as developers declared that the added substance decreased the battery’s overall performance.
However, Stanford’s approach has been successful, which means that we’ll be sleeping better from now on, knowing that our phone’s battery won’t explode or go up in flames.
Why is a self-extinguishing lithium-ion battery such a big deal? Remember when Samsung released the Galaxy Note7 smartphones? Sure, they were great, packed with all kinds of features, but they had this small tendency of literally blowing up in your face.
Although this may look like a remote, freak accident, there were many users who reported life-threatening injuries as a result of the battery blowing up. Needless to say that after the incident, many jokes and memes popped on the Internet, including a guy who wanted to become a suicide bomber, but instead of a vest packed with C4, he had a vest packed with Galaxy Note7 smartphones.
The new and improved lithium-ion battery created by Stanford researchers will prevent any future explosion-related injuries thanks to its TPP-based system. So, how does it work? Well, batteries tend to blow out when they come into contact with water or oxygen. However, they also tend to blow up when they become overheated.
The TPP inside the battery rests inside an electrolytic fluid. The battery is also packed with its own thermometer, which keeps an eye on the battery’s temperature. When the battery reaches 150 degrees Celsius, the TPP is automatically released to prevent the battery from going out into flames.
Latest lab experiments showed that the TPP-based system could deal with any potential threat in less than 4 seconds.
Image source: Wikipedia