Doping Lithium-ion Batteries to Make Them Safer


When lithium-ion batteries overheat, they can burn through internal pockets, burst into flames, and even explode. One reason such damage can occur is the formation of dendrites—finger-like deposits of lithium that can grow long enough to pierce the barrier between a lithium-ion battery’s halves and cause it to short out.

Dendrites form when a battery electrode degrades and metal ions deposit onto the electrode’s surface. …

In their latest work, Stanford researchers used chemicals designed to prevent dendrite formation.

see: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/doping-lithiumion-batteries-to-make-them-safer

 

IBM engineers carbon nanotube transistors to replace silicon in computing | VentureBeat | Business | by Dean Takahashi


Carbon nanotubes are the leading candidate to replace silicon in semiconductor chips after the decades-long run of silicon electronics runs out. And IBM is hoping to usher along that transition with a new breakthrough being announced today. In the October 2 issue of the journal Science, IBM researchers say they have overcome one of the most daunting challenges around carbon nanotube transistors, which are the building blocks of electronic circuits with dimensions that are measured in billionths of a meter.  Carbon nanotube chips could greatly improve the capabilities of high-performance computers, enabling Big Data to be analyzed faster, increasing the power and battery life of mobile devices and the Internet of Things, and allowing cloud data centers to deliver services more efficiently and economically, IBM said.

Source: IBM engineers carbon nanotube transistors to replace silicon in computing | VentureBeat | Business | by Dean Takahashi

Solid-state Electrolyte could make batteries safer and longer-lasting | MIT News


Researchers at MIT and Samsung, and in California and Maryland, have developed a new approach to one of the three basic components of batteries, the electrolyte. The new findings are based on the idea that a solid electrolyte, rather than the liquid used in today’s most common rechargeables, could greatly improve both device lifetime and safety — while providing a significant boost in the amount of power stored in a given space.

Typically a liquid organic solvent whose function is to transport charged particles from one of a battery’s two electrodes to the other during charging and discharging — has been responsible for the overheating and fires that, for example, resulted in a temporary grounding of all of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jets …

““All of the fires you’ve seen, with Boeing, Tesla, and others, they are all electrolyte fires. The lithium itself is not flammable in the state it’s in in these batteries. [With a solid electrolyte] there’s no safety problem — you could throw it against the wall, drive a nail through it — there’s nothing there to burn.”

Source: Going solid-state could make batteries safer and longer-lasting | MIT News

Australia: When pranks break the law: hoax conversations


There are many prank phone calls that can be considered criminal offences: Threatening to kill or cause serious harm to someone – and not just the person on the phone; Making a hoax bomb threat is a crime; Making prank calls to 000 pretending there is an emergency is open to jail time of up to three years. Even if the prankster doesn’t threaten their victim, repeated calls can amount to harassment, stalking or bullying. Under the Criminal Code it is illegal to use “a carriage service” (that includes phones, emails, texts and social media) to menace, harass or be offensive – with a penalty of up to three years jail.

via When pranks break the law: hoax conversations – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment – Australia.

Stanford invention could lead to better, cheaper chips :: ElectronicsOnline


Silicon and gallium arsenide both begin their progression from raw crystal to electronic device similarly. Both materials are fashioned into what electronics manufacturers call wafers. These are flat, circular platters of purified material. Subsequent manufacturing steps create computer chips, solar cells or other electronic devices on top of these wafers. But it can cost about $5000 to make a wafer of gallium arsenide 8″ in diameter, versus $5 for a silicon wafer … The new Stanford process seeks to lessen this thousand-to-one cost differential by re-using that $5000 wafer.

via Stanford invention could lead to better, cheaper chips :: ElectronicsOnline.

•Product safety is more important to consumers than a well known brand


•Product safety is more important to consumers than a well known brand.

•Consumers are willing to pay a 16% price premium for products whose safety has been independently verified by a credible, independent third-party as exceeding applicable government safety standards.

•Unsafe Products:  50% consumers had an experience with an unsafe product in past 5 yrs.

•Product Recalls: More than 2/3rds of consumer electronics companies (73%) had a recall in past 5yrs and 22% had more than 20 recalls.

•There is significant concern for the safety of consumer electronics, more so than food or toys.
•90% of consumers rate third-party testing as important or VERY important.
•84% of management believes product safety issues existing in the consumer electronics industry

see the article at

http://www.tuv-sud-america.com/us-en/services-by-activity/focus-topics/safety-gauge-s

All-electric cars may be worse for environment


The key is where the source of the electricity all-electric cars. If it comes from coal, the electric cars produce 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gas, because of the pollution made in generating the electricity, according to the study that is published in PNAS. They also are significantly worse at heat-trapping carbon dioxide that worsens global warming, it found.

The study examines environmental costs for cars’ entire lifecycle, including where power comes from and the environmental effects of building batteries.

“Unfortunately, when a wire is connected to an electric vehicle at one end and a coal-fired power plant at the other end, the environmental consequences are worse than driving a normal gasoline-powered car,” said Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who wasn’t part of the study but praised it.

But if the power supply comes from natural gas, the all-electric car produces half as many air pollution health problems as gas-powered cars do. And if the power comes from wind, water or wave energy, it produces about one-quarter of the air pollution deaths.

Hybrids and diesel engines are cleaner than gas, causing fewer air pollution deaths and spewing less heat-trapping gas.

But ethanol isn’t, with 80 percent more air pollution mortality, according to the study.

“If we’re using ethanol for environmental benefits, for air quality and climate change, we’re going down the wrong path,” Hill said.

via All-electric cars may be worse for environment.

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