Salt-based Battery Improves Renewable Battery Performance for Electric Cars and Solar CellsSiobhan Treacy | July 09, 2018
Research teams from University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have teamed up to create a salt-based rechargeable battery for solar cell and electric car use. The battery is a greener alternative and can last longer than conventional batteries currently used in solar cells and electric cars.
Rechargeable batteries lose energy and power too quickly to be used regularly in solar cells or electric vehicles. The research team has developed a battery that they hope will change this.
The new battery uses a novel and affordable rechargeable iron-oxygen battery with a bi-phase electrolyte that is made out of molten carbonate and solid oxide. This new battery merges a solid-oxide fuel cell and molten metal-air battery. The new battery improved electrode reaction kinetics, therefore improving the performance of the battery.
Professor Jiangiang Wang, an expert in molten salts chemistry at SINAP, said, "We looked at elevating the working temperature of the metal-oxygen battery using metals such as iron as a base as this can be activated at a high temperature and keeps the cost low. Solid oxide fuel cells use tin or bismuth as negative electrode materials, but one issue was metal oxides forming between the metal and solid electrolyte and impeding the ion conductivity."
Dr. Cheng Peng, an author of the paper, added, "One type of high-temperature metal-oxygen battery is the so-called molten air battery which can use base metals for fast multiple electron charge transfer in molten salts. The molten salts have the capability to dissolve metal oxides. Our proposal looked at a molten salt iron-oxygen battery with a bi-phase electrolyte of molten carbonate and solid oxide which merges the merits of both types of battery. The result was a low-cost and long service life rechargeable high-temperature molten salt iron-oxygen battery with both high energy storage capacity and fast charging and discharging power capability."
The new battery has great potential for renewable and grid-scale energy storage. Molten salts are ideal for storage in solar heat and high-temperature environments. Molten salt iron-oxygen batteries are perfect for solar-heat in domestic and industrial applications.
The paper on this research was published in ChemSusChem.