The battery that grounded Boeing
The same type was found in mobile phones and laptops.
While the weight of these batteries can generate a lot of power, they are also prone to problems.
It was these batteries that caught fire in laptops a few years ago, and recently they were suspected to be the culprit of the electric car\'s fire.
How they work: According to Donald Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at MIT, ions from the lithium element sort out energy from the electrodes of the battery.
This is different from other types of batteries commonly used in electronic products that use a combination of elements such as nickel and cadmium or lead and acid.
Why are they better: lithium is the lightest of all metals, so its ions hold energy more efficiently-
The weight per unit is more than twice that of a nickel-cadmium battery.
This makes the batteries attractive to Boeing (BA), which uses them to electronically assist with some of the functions previously performed using a hydraulic system.
Lighter aircraft are more fuel efficient, which is one of the main selling points of 787.
Other aircraft manufacturers are also using more lithium-ion batteries.
Related reports: In addition to light weight and high packaging power, Boeing Dreamliner needs less maintenance for lithium-ion batteries.
There is no need to completely drain the battery before charging, just like the old nickel-cadmium battery.
In addition, they may be less toxic to the environment during disposal.
Is there any problem?
In addition to being the lightest metal, lithium can also be unstable when combined with other elements.
Due to this instability they will catch fire if the battery is overcharged-
Earlier this month, the same was true for 787 at Boston airport.
To make matters worse, the fires they produce are very difficult to put out.
It took 40 minutes for the Boston fire to be put out, says Cosmin Laslau, a mobile energy analyst at Lux Research, a consulting and Research firm focused on emerging technologies.
\"Traditional fire extinguishers don\'t work,\" Laslau said . \".
\"Unless the fireman has special material, you may just have to let the fire go out on its own.
\"The battery is also about 40% more expensive than nickel and cadmium, and some batteries may not charge well in a few years. Can you fix it?
Solving the fire problem is obviously the main problem.
Laslau said Boeing chose a particularly dangerous chemical cosmetic in its lithium-ion battery, which provides more power but does not well resist overheating.
\"Boeing has made a conscious design decision and is now paying the price,\" he said . \".
Laslau said that automakers have been solving fire problems by using lithium-ion batteries with slightly different chemical composition, which is a bit expensive and offers a little less but more stable power.
They also used better wires and systems to manage the battery.
That\'s what Boeing might need to do, he said.