Where it all begins: Tim Knowles holds a spool of carbon fiber, which his company, Kulr Technology Corp., transforms into heat sinks and a new system to prevent thermal runaway in lithium-ion batteries. Knowles has done extensive work on NASA spacecraft.

Where it all begins: Tim Knowles holds a spool of carbon fiber, which his company, Kulr Technology Corp., transforms into heat sinks and a new system to prevent thermal runaway in lithium-ion batteries. Knowles has done extensive work on NASA spacecraft. Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle.

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Tim Knowles holds Kulr’s Thermal Runaway Shield, or TRS. Scalloped indentations hold lithium-ion batteries. If a battery catches fire, water inside the shell cools the battery, and carbon fiber inside the shell wicks the heat away, staving off a chain reaction fire.

— The new style of batteries powering automobiles, smartphones and military vehicles are certainly capable...

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