New Technology for Safer Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are never completely safe, this is partly because of the nature of the electrolytes that charge and release energy when ions go back and forth between electrodes. These batteries generally need to be made chemicals that are combustible for them to mobilize enough power. The good news is that this problem might have a solution now. Recently, scientists have created a new water-based electrolyte that’s not only considerably safer but also manages enough voltage (4V) to be useful.
The key to this was a high concentration of salt that produces a protective layer on electrodes (solid electrolyte interphase) just like the ones on the lithium-ion batteries. This is an unconventional electrolyte that ends up preserving the electrodes and letting the battery hold more energy.
Unfortunately, there is still one problem with these new batteries with these watery electrolytes. They don’t last very long. 70 cycles are the maximum that they persist for which in comparison to a lithium-ion is very less. Many conventional lithium-ion batteries last for several hundred cycles and sometimes much more. Despite this disadvantage, the very fact that researchers have overcome both safety and voltage issues is quite a breakthrough and is still a very important solution. This solution still won’t guarantee that your devices will be completely immune to all issues of the battery, but you might definitely panic a little less the net time your phone falls.