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New Battery Stores Renewable Energy At Low Cost

First Posted: Nov 04, 2015 03:18 PM EST

Researchers have developed a new cost efficient battery that stores renewable energy. The new battery's energy density is almost identical to a lithium-ion battery, and it is built using low cost materials, sodium and magnesium.

Storing electric power can be quite an expensive process, which is why Maksym V. Kovalenko and colleagues developed a new battery that could bring the price of storage to more affordable levels, according to a news release.

Lithium-ion batteries are a common storage technology, where their uses range from smartphones to electric cars, and their application in saving power for homes is in the making as well. However, the price for this package is almost out of reach for customers. The researchers' new battery will allow energy storage to be more accessible on a large scale.

The researchers used magnesium as the battery's safe, and inexpensive, high density anode and paired it with pyrite, which is made of iron and sulfur, as the cathode. An anode is an electrical conductor that allows current to flow into a polarized electrical device. A cathode, on the other hand, is an electrical conductor that allows conventional current to leave a polarized electrical device.

The battery's electrical conducting component has magnesium and sodium ions.

When the researchers tested the battery, they found that its energy density was close to lithium-ion batteries. The researchers claimed that due to the battery's low cost materials, it could eventually facilitate in grid-scale energy storage.

This study was published in the ACS' journal Chemistry of Materials.

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