The problem with the lithium ion batteries powering your iPods and notebooks is that they can be a mite explode-y. But German scientists at Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research have figured out how to replace the liquid electrolyte ka-bloom goo with a non-flammable polymer, which, on top of not blowing up, is a solid material, so it can't leak either. But, there are two big catches.


One, it'll be like 3-5 years before you can curl up next to your notebook in bed and pass out without worrying it'll take your gnads off with an exciting display of shrapnel and fire in the middle of the night. (That's not what keeps me up at night, I swear.) The other is that it looks like they don't pack in quite as much juice as the combustible kind (hence the 3-5 year development time). I don't know, I think almost rather risk silicon and limb to get a 30 hour charge for my notebook. [Fraunhofer Institute via Gadget Lab]