SUN Jinhua First Published a Review of Lithium Ion Batteries

  • [2019-05-10]

    Have you ever been refused to ship your electronic devices as cargo on passenger airplanes? Do you know the reasons for this prohibition? Prof. SUN Jinhua from the State Key Laboratory of Fire Science was invited by the journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science to publish a review, called A review of lithium ion battery failure mechanisms and fire prevention strategies. Prof. SUN Jinhua, as the corresponding author, cooperated with Prof. WANG Qingsong, Dr. MAO Binbin, and an associate professor Stanislav Stoliarov from the University of Maryland to complete this article. In this review, they concluded the latest progress on the safety of the lithium ion batteries (LIBs), analyzed the disaster mechanism, and looked ahead to the future researches.

    Due to the high working voltage, low memory effects, and high energy density of LIBs, they become the dominated power sources of portable electronic devices. And they are seen as the key technology to replace fossil fuels with more renewable energy, like nuclear, hydrogen, wind, solar, and geothermal energy. However, LIBs have weaknesses on the narrow operational temperature range and charge/discharge rate, which are extremely prone to thermal runaway combustion.



    Figure 1. The thermal runaway procedure of LIBs (Image from the paper)

    This review first introduced the battery chemistry and ingredient materials and then analyzed the fire accident. They divided the LIBs abuse conditions into three categories: thermal abuse, electrical abuse, and mechanical abuse. The root causes of these accidents include overheating, short circuit, overcharge, self-heating or mechanical crash. Then, they analyzed the thermal runaway mechanism and fire behavior of LIB, gas generation and effects of different ingredients on the fire behavior. On this basis, the unseasonable heat accumulation is the main inducer. Also, they discussed the fire prevention of LIBs, such as equipping the Lib-containing system to effectively manage thermal and suppress the fire. Finally, they emphasized that new automatic fire extinguishing systems targeting LIBs should ensure the high level of safety for present and future LIB-based technologies.

    Figure 2. The main causes of LIBs fire combustion (Image from the paper)

    In the past ten years, the group led by Prof. SUN Jinhua and Dr. WANG Qingsong has been devoted to the fire prevention and extinguishing methods of LIBs and makes significant achievements with 79 SCI papers and 27 invention patents. The journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science is one of the international greatest journals in the field of energy and combustion, in which little Chinese researcher has published papers. This is also the first time for USTC to publish a paper in this journal.


    (Written by LIU Zige, edited by SHI Xiao, USTC News Center)

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