Safer lithium-based batteries focus of new study

The increasing demand for electric vehicles and cellphones has accelerated the need for safer energy storage after numerous instances of commercial lithium-ion batteries overheating and catching fire.

Peng Bai faculty shot

Peng Bai, assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has received a three-year $355,630 grant from the National Science Foundation to study solid-state electrolytes, a safer alternative to the liquid electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries.

With the funding, he plans to investigate the electrochemical processes that take place during battery recharge before hazardous lithium metal penetrations occur, particularly looking at the relationship between the applied current and the charging time.

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