A new lithium-ion battery (LIB) with a water-based electrolyte poses little risk of explosion and has a high energy density.
LIBs are ubiquitous in portable electronics and are being increasingly used in electric vehicles. However, they carry fire and explosion risks, as evidenced by the Oct. 2016 recall of all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, whose faulty LIBs were prone to overheating. The hazard stems from the flammable, nonaqueous electrolytes in these batteries.
Although aqueous batteries do not carry the same fire hazards, they have long been considered inferior to their nonaqueous counterparts, because they are constrained by the narrow electro-chemical stability range of water (1.23 V). Although recent studies have explored water-in-salt electrolytes (WiSE) to expand the stability range from 1.23 V to around 3 V, aqueous batteries still deliver lower energy densities (∼200 Wh/kg) than traditional LIBs (∼400 Wh/kg). This...
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