Friday, September 29, 2023

Organic molecules and water: the promise of a new small, efficient and non-toxic battery

Did you dream about that? They did it. A team of Australian and Chinese researchers has managed to find a way to make our batteries safer, more efficient and less toxic. And this, using organic molecules and water, according to the conclusions of a study published last June in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, before being discovered by several media outlets, including the Interesante Engineering site.

This innovative battery technology could soon reach the market thanks to the joint work of specialists from Flinders University (South Australia) and Zhejiang Scientific University (China).

Together, the experts managed to develop the world’s first aqueous aluminum radical battery. For the uninitiated, the term “radicals” refers to a grouping of atoms that will retain their identity during chemical changes.

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No hazardous materials used

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This famous battery will use water-based electrolytes, and not toxic or considered dangerous materials. In addition, it is capable of providing a so-called “stable” output voltage of 1.25 V, while its capacity (in milliamp-hours) amounts to 110 mAh. This unit of electrical charge was observed for 800 cycles, with a minimal degradation rate.

The Australian university and the Chinese university joined forces to explore stable radical electrochemistry. His work focused on the Lewis acid electrolyte, the most widely used. Several battery tests have been carried out.

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As Interesting Engineering reminds us, stable radicals are organic molecules that are often used in different organic battery systems. However, until now they have never been used with aluminum ion batteries. A choice that can be explained by the lack of understanding of its electrochemical reaction.

Preserve the health of living beings.

Professor Zhongfan Jia from Flinders University highlighted the fact that most batteries on the market today contain hazardous materials that can pollute our environment (by polluting soil and water) when dumped. the landfills. Likewise, he recalled that materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury could poison humans and animals.

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In contrast, the researcher said the battery he and his colleagues developed uses water-based electrolytes, which are flame retardant and stable when exposed to air. There are many points that, according to him, make the battery safe and durable. Finally, he indicated that biodegradable materials have been used to reduce environmental impact.

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