An aluminium-sulphur battery, made from low-cost materials that appear in abundance are the new innovation in battery technology and renewable energy that everyone is talking about.
Scientists at MIT have developed a new kind of battery that uses aluminium and sulphur as its two electrode materials, with a molten salt electrolyte in between. These three ingredients are cheap to purchase and super readily available for extended use.
What Are The Ingredients And How Does It Work?
The first ingredient is aluminium which is the same type of aluminium as the roll of foil you buy at the grocery store. The second ingredient is sulphur, which is often a waste product from processes such as petroleum refining. The third ingredient is salts of varying kinds. These ingredients are all safe and cannot burn which brings a whole new level of ease to working with these new low-cost batteries.
This innovative design needs no external heat source to maintain its operating temperature. The heat is naturally produced electrochemically by the charging and discharging of the battery. As the battery charges, it generates heat, this heat is what keeps the salts from freezing. The same process occurs when the battery discharges.
An example of how this new innovation could work on a practical level would be that the battery stores electricity when the sun is shining. Then, the electricity drawn from the day would be used at night. The brilliance of this process lies in the self-regulation of heating that occurs. The team behind these batteries reckon that it could easily power a single home where you can cook, watch TV, enjoy playing at Big Dollar online casino and do whatever else requires a charge. It can also power a small to medium business, producing a few tens of kilowatt-hours of storage capacity per day.
EVs Drive Demand
The smaller scale of the aluminium-sulphur batteries would also make them practical for uses such as electric vehicle charging stations. This is an important place for the new low-cost batteries to be placing their attention.
As electric cars become more common, more people will be requiring charging space more often and in more places across the world. There will need to be a high volume of charging stations with enough space and battery power to handle the car load. This is where this battery system could come into place and use its brilliant method to store power and then release it quickly when needed. This has the potential to revolutionise the car charging system and could eliminate the need for installing expensive new power lines to serve these chargers.
The elemental sulphur sits safely and comfortably inside the battery cell which means there is no risk of that unpleasant sulphur smell and no risk of leakage or injury. The battery is sealed, safe to use anywhere and much more supportive of the environment than the normal lithium-ion batteries we have used for generations.
This exciting innovation in renewable energy and battery resources shows us much promise for our future on this planet and the ways in which science is playing an integral role in shifting the consciousness from throw-away to renewable.