Energy

A new renewable energy storage battery is in the works, say researchers

Summary

The detrimental effects of non-renewable energy sources have caused a major shift from conventional energy sources to renewable sources. Countries are embracing the carbon emission reduction call by climate experts. Carbon emissions have contributed to global warming. This has led […]

The detrimental effects of non-renewable energy sources have caused a major shift from conventional energy sources to renewable sources. Countries are embracing the carbon emission reduction call by climate experts. Carbon emissions have contributed to global warming. This has led to changes in climate patterns across the planet.

Researchers have disclosed that global warming has caused prolonged dry periods in countries in the rain belt region. These are the food-producing countries, whose food productivity has suffered greatly courtesy of the reduced rains. Food shortages have led to starvation and economic struggles. Land privatization by private entities has also contributed to these economic hardships and strained food security.

Both rural and urban populations have been affected by this food shortage. Although city dwellers are excluded from the percentage affected by climate change, it affects them indirectly. The batteries used by city dwellers affect people living in the rural areas even if the rural dwellers use renewable –energy. Thus decisions about safe ways of storing energy affect everybody.

Therefore, there is a need to tap into renewable energy and drop the non-renewable sources. However, renewable energy needs to be stored. It is both economical and reliable so that this energy can be used in the future. The most common storage options are lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are excellent examples of rechargeable battery models that cut down on carbon emissions. The downside with this type of battery is that the materials used to make it have some safety concerns and are not readily available. This is a limiting factor in the manufacture and use of lithium-ion batteries.

In a publication to the American Chemical Society (ACS), researchers reported they had developed an anode-free battery template. The battery uses Zinc raw materials, which are naturally available and cheap. The researchers revealed that this battery uses a manganese dioxide cathode, pre-intercalated together with the zinc ions. The electrolyte used is an aqueous solution of zinc trifluoromethanesulfonate. Its current collector is made of copper foil.

This new battery has the ability to retain about 62.8% of its storage capacity. This is after 80 cycles of charging as well as discharging. When battery is charging, the copper foil covers the zinc metal. When charging stops, the metal disintegrates from the foil, and electrons are released. These electrons are the energy forms that power the battery.

The copper collector was covered with a layer of carbon Nanodiscs to increase the effectiveness of the zinc plating and disintegration. This process also prevents the formation of dendrites. Dendrites speed up battery failure. As per the researchers, anode-free battery prototype paves a way to use zinc-based batteries in the storage of renewable energy. Manufacturers at the American Chemical Society are enthusiastic about this development and are ready to create this new battery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *