Researchers at an Osaka-based firm are closing in on a safer generation of batteries that could weather extreme temperatures in outer space.

At least that's what Hitachi Zosen Corp. is betting on. The company, better known for building plants that convert waste to energy, is developing a new strain of solid-state lithium-ion battery that's been capturing the attention of industry heavyweights.

"We can offer solid-state lithium-ion batteries that are on par with the liquid type in performance even now," Hitachi Zosen President Takashi Tanisho said in an interview in Tokyo. "Solid-state batteries have many advantages," because they're more durable and can handle temperature changes better than those filled with liquid, he said.