Combustion and Flame, Vol.213, 314-321, 2020
Influence of lithium salts on the combustion characteristics of dimethyl carbonate-based electrolytes using a wick combustion method
Flammability studies of electrolytes are required for screening safer materials used in lithium-ion batteries. Besides the thermal stability, the effects of lithium salts on electrolyte combustion are important as well for fire safety of electrolytes. To clarify the influence of lithium salts on the electrolyte flammability, experimental analyses were conducted using a unique wick combustion system in conjunction with the limiting oxygen concentration (LOC) test, called wick-LOC method. The dimethyl carbonate (DMC)-based electrolytes with 1M addition of different lithium salts (LiPF6, LiBF4, and LiTFSI) were studied comparing with pure DMC and trimethyl phosphate (TMP)-added solvents. The three lithium salts gave unique and distinct flame behaviors including flame shapes, colors and the changes of wick surface until self-extinguishing. The wick-LOC results indicated a considerable flame-retardant effect of LiPF6, while other salts have minor effects on the flame extinction. Utilizing the flame spectrum and combustion residue analyses, the roles of salts during combustion were characterized. The PF6 anion played a similar role with the TMP additive in the gas phase flame inhibition. In the cases of LiPF6 and LiBF4, the solid products (LiF) accumulation blocked the fuel supply from the wick to the flame region. In the case of LiTFSI, the serious charring of the cotton wick was considered as a potential hazard on solid combustibles in the real fire scenarios. (C) 2019 The Combustion Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.