Battery Fire Safety


Facing the crisis of fossil fuel depletion, global warming, and climate change, Li-ion battery is perceived as the most promising solution for the alternative energy source. However, the frequent occurrence of battery fire poses a severe threat to public safety, becoming a significant obstacle for further developing and applying electric vehicles. Compared with conventional fire, the fire hazards exhibited by Li-ion batteries are immensely disparate in initiation route, spread rate, duration, toxicity, and suppression. 

Our research focuses on the thermal runaway characteristics of Li-ion batteries under various conditions and the fire protection technologies of the battery pack for electric vehicles. Through experiments and numerical simulations, we are designing a reliable fire suppression technology and a sophisticated battery fire protection strategy. The research outcomes will not only support the future development of safe high-energy batteries but also help lay a good scientific foundation for the emerging development of fire-safe electric vehicles.


  • Self-heating ignition and fire hazards of high-energy lithium-ion batteries, RGC Early Stage Scheme (ECS), HK$ 600K, 2019 - 2022;

  • Study on spread of thermal runaway and fire safety of Li-ion battery, Shanghai Science and Technology Innovative Project Fund, HK$ 500K, 2020 - 2022; 

Representative publications:

  1. P. Sun, R. Bisschop, H. Niu, X. Huang (2020) A Review of Battery Fires in Electric Vehicles, Fire Technology, 56, 1361–1410.

  2. Y. Liu, P. Sun, S. Lin, H. Niu, X. Huang (2020) Self-heating ignition of open-circuit cylindrical Li-ion battery pile: Towards fire-safe storage and transport, Journal of Energy Storage, 32, 101842. 

  3. Y. Liu, P. Sun, H. Niu, X. Huang, G. Rein (2020) Propensity to self-heating ignition of non-operating pouch Lithium-ion battery pack on a hot boundary, Fire Safety Journal103081

  4. X. He, F. Restuccia, Y. Zhang, Z. Hua, X. Huang, J. Fang, G. Rein (2020) Experimental Study of Self-heating Ignition of Lithium-Ion Batteries During Storage: Effect of the Number of Cells, Fire Technology. doi: 10.1007/s10694-020-01011-y

  5. H. Niu, C. Chen, D. Ji, L. Li, Z. Li, Y. Liu, X. Huang* (2020) Thermal-runaway propagation over a linear cylindrical battery moduleFire Technology (in press)

Project members:

Yanhui Liu

Peiyi (Sally) Sun

©2020 by PolyU Fire Lab.