Why do Lithium-Ion batteries explode?

When a lithium-ion battery is being charged, the ions move from the positive to the negative electrode at a fairly high voltage of 3.7 volts – much higher than the 1.5 volts in a typical alkaline battery. These ions move through a liquid electrolyte which is highly flammable – and that is why when one overcharges a lithium-ion battery, it overheats and can even explode.

To demonstrate, Dr Balaya overcharged a single battery cell, applying more than 5 volts instead of the recommended 4.3 volts. The cell was observed slowly bulging, and then it began to emit smoke before abruptly exploding in a spectacular orange burst.

“If this explosion happened at the pack level, it would be a very massive one,” he pointed out.

Palani Balaya of the National University of Singapore, Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT), was featured in Talking point to demonstrate how ans why Lithium Ion batteries explodes.

Credits:  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/lithium-ion-battery-charger-explode-fire-phone-scooter-9934958
June 22nd, 2018|