British scientists have created a lithium jelly that could be used to make safer, cheaper and less toxic batteries. The new gel would replace the liquid electrolytes in common lithium batteries, which are hazardous and toxic. This could also mean lighter, more powerful batteries for our laptop computers and electric vehicles.
One of the biggest assets behind the jelly batteries technology is that it less likely to overheat. Batteries can heat up to hundreds of degrees into a state called thermal runaway, which can wreak havoc on a device, or even catch fire. Overheating is also a common issue in electric vehicles, which use liquid lithium batteries as well. The jelly batteries operate at a much cooler temperature, and they would also be significantly lighter than low-performance electrode batteries, a common industry solution to liquid electrolyte batteries.
The jelly batteries replace liquid electrolytes with a gooey gel that stays put between the battery electrodes. It functions like a solid, but has all the conductive properties of a liquid electrolyte. The result is a more controllable electrolytic substance.
According to the scientists, the jelly batteries would be 10-20% the price of liquid electrolyte batteries. Both the laptop industry and the electric car industry could benefit from the jelly batteries, which would make overall prices lower, while providing a battery that does not over heat.