This battery recharges in one minute and there is no risk of fire!

This battery recharges in one minute and there is no risk of fire!

This battery recharges in one minute and there is no risk of fire!

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[EN VIDÉO] From Volta to Graphene: the evolution of batteries
The most common type of battery is the lithium ion battery. Several technologies are in the running to replace it.

One of the most crucial technologies for the future ispower. Lithium batteries have many flaws, including the formation of dendrites and the risk of fire, not to mention the lithium shortage announced for 2025. The researchers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States, have found the perfect solution with a molten salts. Their discovery was published in the magazine Nature.

The researchers took an original approach. Their starting point was simply to choose the most abundant materials possible. They therefore opted for thealuminum to create one of electrodes. For the other, they chose the least expensive element, namely sulfur. Finally, for the electrolyte between the two electrodes, they decided to avoid everything liquids volatile and flammable materials and leave to act molten salts.

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 sodium (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 the battery produces enough heat 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 lithium ion battery. Aluminum is the same as that used in foil rolls for baking sulfur it’s a spoil produced from refining from oil. ” 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 eletricity grid. However, this battery would be ideal for storing a few tens of kilowatt hours, for example the production of solar panels 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.

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