Scientists pinpoint cause of harmful dendrites and whiskers in lithium batteries Scientists have uncovered a root cause of the growth of needle-like structures—known as dendrites and whiskers—that plague lithium batteries, sometimes causing a short circuit, failure, or even a fire. The team, led by Chongmin Wang at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has shown that the presence of certain compounds in the electrolyte—the liquid material that makes a battery's critical chemistry possible—prompts the growth of dendrites and whiskers. The PNNL team found that the origin of whiskers in a lithium metal battery lies in a structure known as the "SEI" or solid-electrolyte interphase, a film where the solid lithium surface of the anode meets the liquid electrolyte. Further, the scientists pinpointed a culprit in the growth process: ethylene carbonate, an indispensable solvent added to electrolyte to enhance battery performance. It turns out that ethylene carbonate leaves the battery vulnerable to damage. Scientists pinpoint cause of harmful dendrites and whiskers in lithium batteries Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Maxwell's dry electrode process remove the need for any solvents in lithium batteries?