Chemists of Jena University present an innovative redox-flow battery based on organic polymers and water
Sun and wind are important sources of renewable energy, but they suffer from natural fluctuations: In stormy weather or bright sunshine electricity produced exceeds demand, whereas clouds or a lull in the wind inevitably cause a power shortage. For continuity in electricity supply and stable power grids, energy storage devices will become essential. So-called redox-flow batteries are the most promising technology to solve this problem. However, they still have one crucial disadvantage: They require expensive materials and aggressive acids.
A team of researchers at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU Jena), in the Center for Energy and Environmental Chemistry (CEEC Jena) and the JenaBatteries GmbH (a spin-off of the University Jena), made a decisive step towards a redox-flow battery which is simple to handle, safe and economical at the same time: They developed a system on the basis of organic polymers and a harmless saline solution.
“What’s new and innovative about our battery is that it can be produced at much less cost, while nearly reaching the capacity of traditional metal and acid containing systems,” Dr. Martin Hager says.
The scientists present their battery technology in the current edition of the renowned scientific journal ‘Nature’ (DOI:10.1038/nature15746).
In contrast to conventional batteries, the electrodes of a redox-flow battery are not made of solid materials (e.g., metals or metal salts) but they come in a dissolved form: The electrolyte solutions are stored in two tanks, which form the positive and negative terminal of the battery. With the help of pumps the polymer solutions are transferred to an electrochemical cell, in which the polymers are electrochemically reduced or oxidized, thereby charging or discharging the battery. To prevent the electrolytes from intermixing, the cell is divided into two compartments by a membrane. “In these systems the amount of energy stored as well as the power rating can be individually adjusted. Moreover, hardly any self-discharge occurs,” Martin Hager explains.
Energy storage for wind farms and photovoltaic power stations
Traditional redox-flow systems mostly use the heavy metal vanadium, dissolved in sulphuric acid as electrolyte. “This is not only extremely expensive, but the solution is highly corrosive, so that a specific membrane has to be used and the life-span of the battery is limited,” Hager points out. In the redox-flow battery of the Jena scientists, on the other hand, novel synthetic materials are used: In their core structure they resemble Plexiglas and Styrofoam (polystyrene), but functional groups have been added enabling the material to accept or donate electrons. No aggressive acids are necessary anymore; the polymers rather ‘swim’ in an aqueous solution. “Thus we are able to use a simple and low-cost cellulose membrane and avoid poisonous and expensive materials“, Tobias Janoschka, first author of the new study, explains. “This polymer-based redox-flow battery is ideally suited as energy storage for large wind farms and photovoltaic power stations,” Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert says. He is chair for Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry at the FSU Jena and director of the CEEC Jena, a unique energy research center run in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems Hermsdorf/Dresden (IKTS).
In first tests the redox-flow battery from Jena could withstand up to 10.000 charging cycles without losing a crucial amount of capacity. The energy density of the system presented in the study is ten watt-hours per liter. Yet, the scientists are already working on larger, more efficient systems. In addition to the fundamental research at the University, the chemists develop their system, within the framework of the start-up company JenaBatteries GmbH, towards marketable products.
The Latest on: Synthetic Batteries
via Google News
The Latest on: Synthetic Batteries
- 5 Tips for Better Home Safety this Springon March 23, 2020 at 6:48 am
Family Features) As people become more active during the warmer months, keeping home safety top of mind can sometimes go by the wayside. However, when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide safety, you ...
- Ocean Infinity’s Hunt for the Submarine San Juanon March 22, 2020 at 7:07 am
It was thought the submarine had encountered a problem with the forward batteries, but little information was available ... They are equipped with a variety of tools including side scan sonar, a multi ...
- The 66 Best Inventions of the Past 66 Yearson March 21, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Enovid, a drug the FDA approves for menstrual disorders, comes with a warning: The mixture of synthetic progesterone and estrogen also prevents ovulation ... Black and Decker releases its first ...
- Quantum computing is right around the corner, but cooling is a problem. What are the options?on March 17, 2020 at 1:05 pm
One option on the table: synthetic diamonds. Why would you be thinking about quantum computing ... all of these industries are looking for better computation and optimization models for innovation and ...
- Asia-Pacific Electric Vehicle Battery Market Trends, Drivers and Projections Reports from 2019-2025on March 17, 2020 at 1:02 am
The Asia pacific electric vehicle battery market is estimated to grow at a considerable growth rate during the forecast period The declining lithium ion battery prices rapidly increasing adoption of ...
- Auto industry turns attention to sustainable interiorson March 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm
Virtually all of those will use textiles will have been produced with non-recyclable synthetic fibres. Much interest has been placed on how that ... There are additional opportunities elsewhere in the ...
- Kraken Announces $2.8 Million of Contracts and Provides Corporate Updateon March 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm
Kraken has recently received orders from four US companies and one Canadian company totalling $2.8 million. The Company expects to fulfill these contracts in the first half of 2020. A new customer pri ...
- This fruit can charge your phone’s batteryon March 12, 2020 at 11:35 pm
According to the study, compared to batteries, super-capacitors are not only able to charge devices very quickly but also in orders of magnitude greater charging cycles than conventional devices.
- China Will Account For Two-Thirds of the Global EV Battery Value Chain by 2030on March 12, 2020 at 7:38 pm
Additionally, China runs far and fast in the race for more sustainable natural graphite production, which exceeds synthetic graphite that is both expensive and environmentally unfriendly. Before 2030, ...
- Best Buy discounts Sennheiser, Sony, and JBL ANC headphones by up to $89 offon March 11, 2020 at 1:18 pm
What you get is an all-plastic affair and although there’s memory-foam cushioning, the synthetic leather covering the earcups doesn’t scream opulence ... The 4.50 BT’s sound signature would definitely ...
via Bing News