Batteries with built-in flame extinguishers could prevent future battery blazes

1 min read


While Lithium-based batteries are much better than the Nickel–metal hydride ones of a technological age past, they do have a major, concerning drawback. They have a propensity to catch fire, and sometimes explode – something Samsung knows all too well after their Galaxy Note 7’s started detonating.

It’s not just Samsung’s batteries that could potentially immolate you though, it’s something inherent to the technology, which is why many airlines severely restrict passengers from carrying too many Lithium based batteries in their luggage.

There have been many attempts to make these sorts of batteries safer, but they have a habit of severely lowering their performance. It’s probably safe to say that many users in this digitally-connected world would be happy to sacrifice safety for longer battery life. A group of researchers at from Stanford University seem to have finally worked around that issue – by creating Lithium-ion batteries with built-in fire extinguishers.

They’ve added a flame retardant chemical, triphenyl phosphate, to their batteries. Should said batteries reach a working temperature of 150 degrees Celsius, the batteries release the extinguisher and cease functioning. According to their tests, it can stop batteries from going up in flames within 0.4 seconds.

“Using our ‘smart’ separators, battery electrochemical performance will not be affected by the flame retardant under normal conditions,” says lead project scientist Yi Cu. “However, once there is a potential thermal runaway, the flame retardant will be activated and nip the fire or explosion in the bud.”

This is technology that I’d assume Samsung is very much looking in to, after its Galaxy Note 7 devices started catching fire and exploding, prompting the company the recall the device – and completely halt production and sales.

“Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7,” Samsung said in a statement, also saying earlier that “Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7.”


Last Updated: January 16, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Dutch Matrix

    Or here is a very wild idea: Make it so that batteries do not explode and take your leg/head off. LoL. Logic is for amateurs it seems…

    • Hammersteyn

      Have you noticed how many people that never applies logic are filthy rich?

      • Dutch Matrix

        Dunno about that. Afterall, they voted in Trump as president…

    • HvR

      People wants more power capacity in smaller package for longer battery life = higher energy density = bigger boom when brown stuff hits the fan

  • Hammersteyn
    • Dutch Matrix

      And that children, is how Deathclaws came into the world… #FalloutBedTimeStories

      • Hammersteyn


      • Dutch Matrix

        Better yet! And that children, is why your aunt Edna is a Feral Ghoul #FalloutBedTimeStories

    • MonsterCheddar


    • MonsterCheddar


    • Ir0nseraph


  • We really need heavy R&D in batteries. It is a major factor holding many other technologies hostage.

    • Admiral Chief

      NUCLEAR! But in your pocket

      • It could work but that would not be a battery. Batteries store energy and can’t produce it themselves. Either way.

        • HvR

          Nope battery (or power cell) is just a portable non-mechanical unit that produces energy usually through a chemical process.

          it can either be reversible like lithium or nickel based batteries or non-reversible like alkaline batteries or radioisotopic aka atomic batteries.

      • HvR

        We’ve been having it, since the 60’s

        Decades on a single “charge” but very expensive, very low voltage and a bitch if you drop it in a landfill.

        Plutonium cells were regularly used in pacemakers

    • This is a true story. Batteries need to advance a lot more, so that many grand ideas can come to fruition.

      • Lu


  • Craig “Crios” Boonzaier

    Or you know, have better quality control. Also better battery tech would be nice.

  • justlikemo

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