For an increasing number of applications requiring rechargeable power sources, lithium-ion batteries are the solution of choice. Rapid growth in the Electric Vehicle market is driving massive global investment in supply chain. The primary reason why lithium-ion batteries are so successful is their high energy density and this derives from their high voltages which are only possible because of the use of specialized electrolytes, most typically mixtures of flammable alkyl carbonates.
Although only a small number of lithium-ion batteries will ever fail catastrophically, at the quantities produced this still relates to an unacceptable safety risk unless appropriate systems are employed to deal with potential failure modes. In an extreme case, thermal runaway can be initiated within a single cell and its high temperature and explosive nature will cause rapid propagation to adjacent cells resulting in system failure and danger to users.
This talk will address several ways to address the challenges of thermal runaway, allowing use of current and future liquid electrolyte battery systems, minimizing the risk without unacceptable economic penalties.
Educated as a chemical engineer at the University of Cambridge in England, Richard Clark has been with Morgan Advanced Materials (LSE: MGAM) for over 30 years, developing and commercializing carbon and ceramic materials and components. He leads Morgan’s work in energy storage, which encompasses all businesses related to lithium‐ion batteries and fuel cells as well as products directly or indirectly related to electric vehicles.
His experience in materials and product development covers a wide‐range, including inception and commercialization of three recognized as globally best‐in‐class: graphite for synthetic diamonds; ablative carbon material for space vehicle propulsion; anode graphite for lithium‐ion batteries for power tool applications. Most recently he has focused on the manufacture and use of ceramics in and around lithium‐ion batteries, for which he has several patent applications as a named inventor.
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