Batteries hold energy tech back
Electric cars, Boeing 787 limited by graying science
"You can't get around the fundamental thing is that lithium ion batteries are stuffed full of flammable liquid," Whitacre said.
Even one-in-a-million problems with lithium ion batteries can result in many fires because there are billions of them in use now, with dozens sometimes stacked together in a single device.
Experts say lithium ion batteries are more dangerous because their electrolyte, the liquid that allows ions to move between electrodes in the battery, is more flammable than the substance in older type batteries. Those older types include the lead-acid batteries in most cars and the nickel cadmium batteries that are often in video equipment and power tools.
Still, MIT materials science and engineering professor Gerbrand Ceder and others said the safety problems can be fixed.
Change doesn't come often in the battery field.
"The big advances in battery technology happen rarely. It's been more than 200 years, and we have maybe five different successful rechargeable batteries," said George Blomgren, a former senior technology researcher at Eveready. "It's frustrating."
- Inventor pushes solar panels for roads, highways
- CNBC ranks Utah 3rd best state for business;...
- Utahns' satisfaction with downtown Salt Lake...
- Amazon asks FAA for permission to fly drones
- Cancer center announced, brings care to West...
- 3 simple steps for building financial...
- Drive-ins use creativity to afford digital...
- GOED announces incentives for 500 new Utah jobs
- US unemployment aid applications fall... 11
- Utah gas prices climb 14 cents from... 9
- Utahns' satisfaction with downtown Salt... 7
- DeseretNews.com continues to see... 6
- Inventor pushes solar panels for roads,... 4
- Kearns-Tribune, Deseret News ask judge... 4
- House votes to make business tax break... 3
- Smith's store to anchor development at... 3