Invited by the editor of Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Prof. Jinhua Sun from State Key Laboratory of Fire Science published a review paper titled as “A review of lithium ion battery failure mechanisms and fire prevention strategies”, Prof. Qingsong Wang and Ph.D. student Binbin Mao were the co-first authors, Associate Professor Stanislav Stoliarov from Maryland University was the coauthor. This paper summarizes the recent progress in lithium ion battery (LIB) safety. The mechanisms of LIB thermal runaway and fire prevention measures are reviewed, and some prospects on the future development of LIB safety are given.
LIB has been the dominated power source on the portable consumer electronics due to its high energy density, good cycle performance and low memory effect. And it also expands to electric vehicle and energy storage systems. For its high energy density and flammable components, LIB may fall into thermal runaway and fire easily under thermal, electric or mechanical abuse conditions (Fig. 1). The fire accidents caused by LIB thermal runaway were reported frequently these years. This review first introduces the structure and material compositions of LIB. The heat generation and thermal dynamics of the basic exothermic reactions are analyzed, and readers can understand the detailed growth mechanisms of LIB thermal runaway under specific abuse conditions (Fig. 2). Secondly, the fire behaviors of single cells and battery packs are exhibited including the heat generation and gas generation features as well as the characteristics of thermal runaway propagation. The effects and influence mechanisms of the state of charge (SOC), electrode materials and electrolytes on LIB’s fire behavior are reviewed. Thirdly, the research status of LIB fire prevention strategy is reviewed including the inherent safety methods and fire suppression methods. Finally, some perspectives and outlooks on the future of LIB fire safety research and safety engineering are given.
Fig. 1. Schematic of the cause of LIB fire accidents.
Fig. 2. An overview of the thermal runaway process of LiCoO2/graphite cell.
Over the past decade, Sun and Wang’s group focus on the research of thermal runaway mechanism and fire suppression methods of LIB. They have contributed on the thermal runaway mechanism and fire dynamics, thermal stability and heat generation of electrode materials, safer electrolyte, fault detection, thermal runaway propagation and fire suppression. Up to now, they have published 79 papers related to LIB safety. This group won the first-class prize awarded by the China Fire Protection Association in 2018.
Journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science was founded in 1974, and it is the top journal in the field of energy and combustion. Since its foundation, there were less than 50 papers published on this journal with the corresponding or first author as Chinese research institute. And this is also the first paper for USTC to publish paper on this journal as first and corresponding authors.
This work is supported by Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and Chinese Academy of Science.
Paper links: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2019.03.002.