One of the most crucial technologies for the future is. Lithium batteries have many flaws, including the formation of and the risk of fire, not to mention the lithium shortage announced for 2025. The researchers of the (MIT), in the United States, have found the perfect solution with a . Their discovery was published in the magazine .
The researchers took an original approach. Their starting point was simply to choose the most abundant materials possible. They therefore opted for theto create one of . For the other, they chose the least expensive element, namely sulfur. Finally, for the electrolyte between the two electrodes, they decided to avoid everything volatile and flammable materials and leave to act .
An operating temperature close to boiling water
However, this type of electrolyte generally requires temperatures of several hundred degrees to remain in a liquid phase. The researchers then chose from molten salts that operate at the lowest possible temperature. Eventually they opted for a chloraluminate based electrolyte(NaCL-KCl-AlCl3).
By a happy coincidence, it turns out that this compound is also very effective in preventing the formation of dendrites. Like all molten salt batteries, this one works best at higher temperatures. Charging is 25 times faster at 110 ° C than at 25 ° C. This is not a problem because theproduces enough during its charge and recharge cycles. Furthermore, this temperature poses no risk of fire or explosion because molten salts are not flammable.
An economical battery
Thanks to the use of abundant and inexpensive elements, the battery should only cost one sixth the price of one. Aluminum is the same as that used in foil rolls for baking it’s a produced from from . ” The ingredients are cheap and the product is safe – it can’t burn said Professor Donald Sadoway.
Scientists were able to load their prototype in just one minute. Other technologies would work better at the scale of the. However, this battery would be ideal for storing a few tens of kilowatt hours, for example the production of at home or small business level. It would also be ideal for charging stations for electric cars, thus allowing the fast charging of several cars at the same time without requiring interventions on the electrical network.
The technology is already patented and will be developed by a new company created for the occasion, Ambri. However, before they can proceed to any commercialization, they must first ensure that the technology is running at full capacity on the battery and that it goes through hundreds of charge cycles.