TechnologyNew invention could herald a “battery revolution,” scientists say

New invention could herald a “battery revolution,” scientists say

A group of researchers has created a new battery that they say could have profound implications for the future of energy storage and renewable technologies.

The lithium-based flow battery, developed by a team at the University of Cincinnati, could prove crucial for wind and solar operations, where large-scale batteries are needed to store energy in times of overproduction and release it when production decreases.

“There has always been a mismatch between energy generation and consumption,” explains Jimmy Jiang, director of the research at the University of Cincinnati.

“That’s why it’s important to have a device that can store that energy temporarily and release it when needed.”

The novel design eliminates the membrane that separates the positive and negative sides of the battery. It is one of the most expensive parts of this type of battery and has made its development difficult in the past.

The membrane-less battery featured high voltage and energy density that could for the first time meet the demands of large-scale renewable energy operations at an economically viable cost.

“This design significantly reduces material costs,” says Soumalya Sinha, a visiting professor at the University of Cincinnati who participated in the research.

“We are trying to achieve the same performance at a cheaper cost.”

The team filed patent applications for the design, which Dr. Jianbing Jiang says will mark a “battery revolution” in the next 20 years.

“I’m sure,” he says. “There is intense research going on to push the boundaries of battery performance.”

The research is detailed in a paper titled ‘Development of high-voltage and high-energy membrane-free nonaqueous lithium-based organic redox flow batteries’. published in the magazine Nature Communications.

Translation of Michelle Padilla

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