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Hoverboard Fire Problem May Have a Solution: a New Lithium Ion Battery from Stanford Engineers


A team of researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution for hoverboards that overheat and cause fires.

Published in the journal Nature Energy, the new study details the first lithium ion battery that automatically shuts off when it overheats and restarts when its temperature lowers. The battery would be applicable not only to the troublesome hoverboards, but to all kinds of battery-powered devices.

"People have tried different strategies to solve the problem of accidental fires in lithium-ion batteries," study co-author Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, said in a press release. "We've designed the first battery that can be shut down and revived over repeated heating and cooling cycles without compromising performance."

As Mashable pointed out, hoverboards are causing fires in numerous cases in different parts of the world. A popular Christmas present, several students have brought their hoverboards back to school with them, but a number of schools are banning them from campus because of the risk they have posed.

"Unfortunately, these techniques are irreversible, so the battery is no longer functional after it overheats," study co-author Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at Stanford, said in the release. "Clearly, in spite of the many efforts made thus far, battery safety remains an important concern and requires a new approach.

"Compared with previous approaches, our design provides a reliable, fast, reversible strategy that can achieve both high battery performance and improved safety.

"This strategy holds great promise for practical battery applications."

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