The rise of lithium-ion batteries over the past 25 years has enabled much of today's technology, but on occasion, they still catch fire.

Recognizing this liability, carmakers and other private industry researchers are focusing on developing safer alternatives.

Chemical & Engineering News (C), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explores the latest strides and setbacks in bringing one promising option -- solid-state batteries -- to the market.

Senior C Correspondent Marc S. Reisch explains that solid-state batteries can improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries by replacing flammable liquid electrolytes with solids.

Doing so can also give batteries greater energy density, thus allowing them a longer life.

This boost could help car manufacturers eventually satisfy government mandates for emission-free alternatives to gas- and diesel-powered vehicles.

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