A new discovery at Arizona State University (ASU) regarding lithium batteries could revolutionize our cellphones future. ASU professors Candace Chan and Hanqing Jiang, have lead studies and found there is a possible way to find a safer alternative to Lithium-Ion batteries. According to the researchers, the safety issues with lithium-ion batteries started around 2006 when laptops using these batteries caused the devices to catch on fire. These safety issues were mostly because the chemical liquid inside the composition of a lithium-ion battery is extremely flammable. Recent lab tests have revealed that there is a way to implement a different material that can be used and could potentially lead to a safer alternative. Research has shown that the flammable chemical in today’s lithium-ion batteries could be changed into a solid ceramic polymer.
“There are some ceramics that you use in a daily basis, one example is ceramic coffee mugs so those are the class of materials that you know won’t catch on fire very easily,” Chan said.
This change could possibly make our electronics, like cell phones, laptops, and other portable devices to become much safer. In the future, we could see a change in the lithium-ion battery composition, but it’s still in the process of understanding how to get the new batteries up to scale and able to fit the different sizes of electronics. Chan wanted to share some precautions when purchasing electronics and said, “when you have a chance to buy a new product that has lithium batteries inside, I would be careful and make sure that it’s coming from a well-established company.” Chan also warns about leaving portable electronics such as laptops and cellphones out in the heat, especially in the summertime.