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Title: Identifying the Cause of Rupture of Li-Ion Batteries during Thermal Runaway

As the energy density of lithium-ion cells and batteries increases, controlling the outcomes of thermal runaway becomes more challenging. If the high rate of gas generation during thermal runaway is not adequately vented, commercial cell designs can rupture and explode, presenting serious safety concerns. Here, ultra-high-speed synchrotron X-ray imaging is used at >20 000 frames per second to characterize the venting processes of six different 18650 cell designs undergoing thermal runaway. For the first time, the mechanisms that lead to the most catastrophic type of cell failure, rupture, and explosion are identified and elucidated in detail. The practical application of the technique is highlighted by evaluating a novel 18650 cell design with a second vent at the base, which is shown to avoid the critical stages that lead to rupture. The insights yielded in this study shed new light on battery failure and are expected to guide the development of safer commercial cell designs.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. College London (United Kingdom). Electrochemical Innovation Lab, Department of Chemical Engineering
  2. NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxford (United Kingdom). Diamond Light Source
  5. ESRF-The European Synchrotron, Grenoble (France)
  6. National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5400-71248
Journal ID: ISSN 2198-3844
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2198-3844
Publisher:
Wiley
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 42 ENGINEERING; high-speed imaging; Li-ion batteries; thermal runaway; venting; X-ray CT
OSTI Identifier:
1431246