Researchers have developed a new aluminum battery that is said to pose no risk to the environment. Because the energy storage is primarily based on water. The energy density is said to be even higher than that of lithium-ion batteries.
With a view to the energy transition, the need for energy storage solutions is increasing. Because electricity production depends on the weather, energy suppliers have to store surpluses and be able to access them at any time. At the same time, demand in the private sector is increasing. In addition to smartphones, wearables and electric vehicles also require an increasing number of batteries.
Researchers from Flinders University in South Australia and China have now succeeded in producing an energy storage solution that is non-toxic and aqueous. Aluminum is the basis for this construction. Substances that enter the environment from the battery are said to have significantly fewer consequences than with common batteries based on lithium, cadmium or mercury.
Aluminum battery is water based
The team has been working on the new energy storage system for some time and recently achieved a breakthrough. The components of the aluminum radical battery are based on water. The materials are fire-retardant and stable even when in contact with the surrounding air. The first model achieved an output of 1.25 volts and only lost 0.028 percent of capacity per charging cycle.
In addition to the actual materials, the scientists also hope to further develop biodegradable materials for the battery shell. In the long term, an alternative to lithium-ion batteries could emerge that is environmentally friendly and at the same time has a significantly higher capacity.
Recycling of components possible
At the same time, the use of aluminum reduces the cost of the battery. The material is abundant on our planet and can be recycled many times over. The plant could therefore benefit from the organic battery in the long term.
However, there are also some challenges. So far, the team has only designed an energy storage device under laboratory conditions. However, it is still unclear to what extent the technology can be scaled and used. It will probably take a few more years until it is ready for the market.