Boeing, along with inves­ti­ga­tors in the United States and Japan, have focused on the lithium-​​ion bat­tery from the start. And today’s announce­ment that the problem appears to have started with a short cir­cuit within a cell is exactly what bat­tery expert Dr. K.M. Abraham sug­gested was the problem when we spoke with him last month. The lithium-​​ion cells within the 787 bat­teries use a graphite-​​coated copper anode and a lithium cobalt oxide-​​coated alu­minum cathode. The anode and cathode are sep­a­rated by a very thin poly­eth­ylene film known as the separator.


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