Why You Shouldn’t Bite into Your Phone Battery
History has taught us that even though Lithium-ion batteries are the most efficient battery for smartphones and other mobile devices, they can be a little dangerous when mistreated.
Phones and tablets are all powered by these rectangular pouch batteries. Inside the pouch are layers of electrode (anode and cathode) sheets with a liquid electrolyte spread throughout the layers. This electrolyte inside is extremely flammable and will explode if it is not kept pressurized.
A man in China learned this the hard way this week after he caused a small explosion by biting into a Li-ion battery in an attempt to check the authenticity.
Li-ions become unstable if they are charged higher than their specified maximum voltage. That’s what we think caused the battery explosions that plagued smartphone users in 2016 and this can happen from using the wrong size charger or keeping your phone plugged in for longer than it needs. When the battery becomes unstable, it will overheat and possibly explode.
Li-ion batteries can also combust though when the electrolyte inside is exposed to oxygen. This was most likely the case for the man in China. When he bit into the battery, he must have exposed the electrolytes to the oxygen in the air and it ignited. This can be demonstrated in this gif.
Luckily, nobody was hurt, but people have been severely burned by these incidents in the past and it’s definitely not something you should try at home. Keep your phone battery in your smartphone where it belongs and, refrain from biting unless you’re ready for a battery explosion.