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Aluminum-Air Battery Developer Phinergy Partners With Alcoa

Citroen test car fitted with Phinergy prototype aluminum-air battery

Battery developer Phinergy is moving toward its goal of marketing an aluminum-air battery that could offer electric-car drivers 1,000 miles of range.

Green Car Congress reports that the Israeli startup has entered into a joint development agreement with Alcoa.

The partnership–announced at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Atlanta–will focus on materials, processes, and components that will help commercialize Phinergy’s aluminum-air battery.

An aluminum-air battery uses an aluminum plate as an anode and ambient air as the cathode. The aluminum is slowly sacrificed as its molecules combine with oxygen to give off energy.

This type of battery has historically been confined to military applications because of the need to remove aluminum oxide and replace the anode plates as they degrade.

Phinergy says its patented cathode material allows oxygen from ambient air to enter the cells freely, while blocking contamination from carbon dioxide–historically a cause of failure in aluminum-air cells.

Citroen test car fitted with Phinergy prototype aluminum-air battery

Citroen test car fitted with Phinergy prototype aluminum-air battery
It also claims a much higher energy density for its battery than that of lithium-ion packs.

Last year, the company demonstrated a converted Citroen C1 minicar with a 55-pound battery pack that had the energy capacity for 1,000 miles of driving.
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