The increase in electronic gadgets and sustainable forms of electronic transport has raised the demand for rechargeable batteries. One of the major challenges faced by the industry includes poor performance of rechargeable batteries. These batteries often loose power quickly over time. Their battery efficiency is also considered low.
The researchers at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) have developed a new design for the rechargeable battery. This battery could boost efficiency, reduce costs and be much greener.
The paper, ‘A Rechargeable High-Temperature Molten Salt Iron-Oxygen Battery’, outlines research carried out using a novel and affordable rechargeable iron-oxygen battery.
Currently, almost all rechargeable batteries are metal-oxygen based. These batteries have slow kinetics resulting in a reduced rate of reaction at the negative and positive ends of the battery. However, activation of these ends is essential for a high-performance battery.
The researchers tried to find a solution to the problem by using molten-salt for batteries. The team of researchers elevated the working temperature of the metal-oxygen battery using metals such as iron. As a result, iron-oxygen was found to be activated at a high temperature and low cost.
The usual metal-oxide fuel cells usually use tin or bismuth as negative electrode materials. But metal-oxides formed on them would hinder the ion conductivity between metal and solid electrolyte. Therefore to overcome this problem, the researchers developed an iron-oxygen battery containing a bi-phase electrolyte of molten carbonate and solid oxide. The molten salts have the capability to dissolve metal oxides and fast multiple electron transfers.
Molten-metal air battery is one of the high-temperature battery. Molten-metal air batteries use base metals for fast multiple electron charge transfer in molten salts and also for high energy storage. Likewise, the new design will be having the merits of a solid–oxide fuel cell and molten metal-air battery. As a result, the new battery will have improved battery kinetic reaction and power capability.
The team of researchers believe that the new battery has a great potential application in the area of grid-scale and renewable energy storage.
High efficient batteries help in reducing the amount of energy used to recharge them. Innovations on efficient batteries probably would result in saving a lot of energy.