Will it explode?

I’m planning a session entitled “computer autopsy” in which we will take apart various computers to see how they work. One device I’ve dismantled is my old Nook HD+ tablet. It still works fine, but it’s painfully slow to use.  So I am sacrificing it for the greater good of education.  With the macro lens on my camera I can take some nice close-up pictures, such as this one of the CPU:

When I removed the back cover I found that the battery was stuck to the inside of the cover with the world’s stickiest sticky tape.  Using a plastic spatula I managed to prise it off, but bent one end.  Being aware that lithium ion batteries can be a fire risk I googled around to check and found plenty of videos such as this one, showing a damaged battery exploding.  Of course, the infamous example is the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery.  This all shouldn’t be too surprising;  lithium is a pretty reactive metal, which fizzes away when you drop it into plain water.   But it did receive some good press recently, with scientists at the University of Copenhagen suggesting the addition of lithium to our drinking water to protect the population from dementia.  They do say that more research is needed, so I held back from actually eating my battery for now.

Not being one to take risks, I’ve wrapped the battery in a plastic bag and put it in my bike shed.  So far, no explosion.  If you happen to be in Ealing and see bits of bicycle flying through the air you’ll know what happened…

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