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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Don C. Brunell: The inconvenient truth about batteries

Each year Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries constituting 180,000 tons of hazardous material, and the situation is likely to get much worse as the world shifts to electric vehicles.

The dirt on clean electric cars

Beneath the hoods of millions of the clean electric cars rolling onto the world’s roads in the next few years will be a dirty battery.

Why those Samsung batteries exploded

Lithium ion batteries show up in all sort of tech these days, from your phone and laptop to airplanes and electric vehicles. But a voluntary recall of some 2.5 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after reports of battery explosions is raising new concerns about their safety.

WSU team trying to build better smartphone battery

In a laboratory at Washington State University, Grant Norton and a team of researchers are working on a surprisingly difficult task: building a better battery for smartphones. Super lithium-ion batteries could end up being for Washington State what Gatorade is to the University of Florida, according to Norton, a professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at WSU and the head of the research team.

Button batteries leading to injury, death in small children

PHILADELPHIA – Lincoln Punch was a week old in April 2011 when his 3-year-old sister found a pair of tweezers with a tiny light attached. The girl broke open the compartment containing two button batteries that powered the light, then fed the shiny disks to the baby. Lincoln nearly died.

NTSB to issue 787 fire report

The National Transportation Safety Board will issue an interim report today on the lithium-ion battery fire in January aboard a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Logan Airport in Boston. A month ago, in its last briefing, the NTSB said investigators had determined that the fire on the Japan Airlines jet started with a short circuit inside a single cell of the eight-cell battery, located in an electronics bay just behind the wing.

Lithium-ion batteries pack extra power, challenges

The prospect of flying in a so-called plastic airplane was already unnerving for some. Now there’s the added concern of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner using the same kind of batteries that used to overheat and ignite laptops made by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple and others. Battery mishaps led to the plane’s grounding this week by U.S. and European regulators.

Batteries stolen from ‘Feed Spokane’ truck

Thieves have targeted a truck used to feed the hungry in Spokane County. Three heavy-duty batteries were stolen Monday from the Feed Spokane truck. The batteries were used to run the truck and its lift gate and refrigeration system. 

WSU team seeks better batteries

PULLMAN – To anyone frustrated by the maddeningly short time their cellphone battery holds a charge, help is on the way. Washington State University materials engineering professor Grant Norton is leading a team that could triple the life of the lithium-ion batteries commonly used in consumer electronics. And strangely enough, it involves tiny tin “whiskers,” and something akin to a shave.