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I remember dendrites from the old Ni-Cd batteries. Often I would find a cell that appeared shorted, and applying a voltage spike from a freshly charged capacitor would usually destroy the dendrite, allowing the cell to charge normally. Sadly, it was a temporary solution, and the dendrites would eventually grow back.
 

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This battery "aging" culprit is something every EV battery manufacturer is grappling with. Now that the cause is definitively known, work on prevention or elimination can begin. Given the critical role ethylene carbonate plays, it won't be easy.
 

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That's why the hope is for solid state batteries, no electrolyte, no dentrites, denser, no battery fires. They exist now, last I heard there are 5 areas that they are working on for large (EV) batteries for scalable manufacturing, 2 or 3 of them solved at last point. In the NOVA TV show on finding a better lithium battery (I believe it's on the internet) towards the end, they kept cutting (with scissors) off part of the battery that was hooked up to a laptop and it kept running.
 

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This has been studied before, but it seems this indeed is the first time researchers link ethylene carbonate solvent to dendrite formation.

Even without that knowledge, there's been studies how to prevent battery fires, for example see:
https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/news...-fires-next-generation-lithium-batteries.aspx

And while this team didn't know about ethylene carbonate, they found a way to design a battery that won't form them:
https://phys.org/news/2018-01-dendrite-free-lithium-battery.html
 

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This is why companies are putting billions of dollars into battery research. The last article I've read on SSD batteries is there are 5 issues that have to be solved and to date they have 2 or 3 of them solved. How long the others will take is anybody's guess.
 
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