Posted on December 8, 2018 |
December 8, 2018 z Steve Hanley
Lithium is one element that is suitable for making batteries, but it is not the only one. Flouride – the most electro-negative element in the periodic table – is also suitable for the task. In fact, fluoride batteries can be 10 times more energy-intensive than lithium batteries. But so far, they had to be divided into 150 ° C (300 ° F for those living in the former British colonies) for operation.
A joint research team, consisting of engineers from Honda, NASA and Caltech, has solved this problem by creating a new liquid electrolyte called BTFE, which allows the fluoride to dissolve at room temperature in accordance with Engadget. When used in a prototype battery composed of copper, lanthanum and fluorine, the new battery could be discharged and refilled at room temperature. In his opinion, the prototype also has a "more favorable environmental footprint" than a lithium battery. There are no words about how well it is done in winter when the thermometer is well below the "room temperature."
Can you imagine what a battery with 10 times the current energy density of the current batteries could be made for driving in electric cars? The prospects are exciting, no doubt about it. However, some obstacles need to be cleared first. For one thing, the anode and cathode of the prototype of the battery are completely dissolved in the electrolyte.
This is a problem, but the team is hard to try to find a solution. If they can solve the high voltage of the operating temperature, the anodes and cathodes that do not dissolve should be a children's game.
Preparing a breakthrough in the lab is one thing. The transformation of these penetrations into products that are easy to manufacture and commercially viable is another thing in its entirety. Do not look for fluoride batteries in EVs. Many laboratory miracles never stand out. This could be another dead end in a long line of battery research that has never gone anywhere.
Still, anxious perspectives are expected, Honda, NASA and Caltech are not amateurs who are confused in the garage late at night with burners and Bunsen. We need the next step in the development of a battery so that the clean energy revolution moves forward as soon as possible, but nature does not abandon its secrets upon request. Patience, keel.