Why do some batteries explode?

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Batteries with much higher energy density than lithium-based cells are already available, but they aren’t safe enough for use in portable electronics.

“The more energy you put into a box, the more dangerous it’s going to be” says Dr Billy Wu, lecturer at Imperial College London’s Dyson School of Design Engineering. “Safety is absolutely key and thermal management is crucial. If a battery heats up beyond 80°C you hit what is called thermal runaway, where the components start to decompose, and that’s when it can explode.