Engineering scientists at Stanford University have managed to find a solution to all the key problems of existing liquid metal batteries. According to them, we are on the verge of opening - the new battery will be cheaper, safer and more efficient than the current ones, while the technology is easily scalable, and the energy carrier remains liquid even at room temperature, without additional conditions. So what did they create?
The classic scheme of a liquid battery implies the presence of three capacities. The first two contain a cathode and anode in liquid form, in the third they mix, but remain separated by a membrane through which electrons leak, which ensures the processes of charging and discharging the battery. The potential capacity of such batteries is very high, but they use toxic components and require meticulous maintenance.
The Stanford engineers replaced the cathode with an alloy of the metals sodium and potassium, which remains liquid at room temperature and, in theory, has 10 times the energy density of any other suitable metal mixture. Four types of aqueous solutions have been proposed as an anode. The old membrane was replaced with a new one, ceramic, coated with potassium and aluminum oxides. It reliably separates two liquid media, but retains the property of electron migration between them.
The prototype immediately showed a twofold increase in maximum voltage compared to other liquid batteries. And showed stable performance over thousands of hours of testing. The technology makes it possible to improve the design of the battery in different directions, achieving the improvement of specific indicators, it has a colossal potential for modernization. And this means that new records are not far off.