LONDON The recent failure
of the lithium-ion battery used in Boeing Co.s 787
Dreamliner is a setback for the technology but will not derail
overall growth in new and existing applications, according to
Emma Kendrick, research supervisor at Sharp Laboratories of
The failure of the lithium-ion
battery on board an All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. 787 Dreamliner
in January was the result of an electrical fault, which caused
the unit to overheat and catch fire.
"In terms of Boeing, the
limitation was in the actual power electronics, not the
chemistry. The actual chemistry is well known; we know what
happens if you overcharge it," Kendrick told attendees at the
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletins
Minor Metals Conference in London on March 1.
The battery failure, which
prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground
all 787 Dreamliners pending a review, attracted attention in
the minor metals market due to the use of cobalt in the
cathodes inside the batteries.
Nonetheless, Kendrick said she
remained confident that lithium-ion batteries will remain the
battery of choice in existing and emerging applications despite
any temporary setbacks.
"With all these technologies you always have setbacks.
Theyre teething issues and although its a setback,
I still believe ... that these technologies are going to be
immersed in more and more applications," she said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.