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New Molten Air Battery Has Highest Capacity Yet

RESEARCHERS have developed a new class of rechargeable battery, the molten air battery, which they say has the highest intrinsic energy capacity of any battery yet.
batteries molten Air

Image: Stuart Licht, George Washington University

Chemistry professor Stuart Licht’s team at George Washington University, US, developed the battery, which uses air and a molten electrolyte. The batteries could be in use within two years. This could potentially show benefits in electric transportation storage.

A study published in Energy & Environmental Sciences introduces the principles of a new class of high-energy batteries and demonstrates their fundamental chemistry. These molten air batteries use air, a molten electrolyte, are quasi-reversible (rechargeable), have the capability for multiple electrons stored per molecule, and have the highest intrinsic electric energy storage capacities. Here we show three examples of the new battery’s electron transfer chemistry. These are the metal, carbon and VB2 molten air batteries with respective intrinsic volumetric energy capacities of 10,000 (for Fe to Fe(III)), 19,000 (C to CO32-) and 27,000 Wh liter-1 (VB2 to B2O3 + V2O5), compared to 6,200 Wh liter-1 for the lithium air battery. Higher energy capacity, cost effective batteries are needed for a range of electronic, transportation and greenhouse gas reduction power generation devices. Needed greenhouse gas battery reduction applications include overcoming the battery driven “range anxiety” of electric vehicles, and increased capacity energy storage for the electric grid.

Link: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2013/EE/c3ee42654h#!divAbstract

According to an article in Nanowerk “This proof of concept study demonstrates the principles of the molten air battery class with three new batteries. Licht and his team expect there will be new demonstrations of other molten air batteries, chemical explorations of the energy storage mechanisms, and engineering optimization of the cell.”The discharge current of the molten air electrode is sufficient to yield high battery voltages, but could be even greater when a higher surface area between the cycled air and the molten salt will be achieved,” says Licht.”
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