Researchers develop a salt-water battery with high voltage, preventing the risk of explosion, according to a new study published in September 2017.
A team of scientists developed a battery using salty water as an electrolyte, with an aim to offer potentially safer and greener alternative to commercial lithium-ion batteries. They further reworked on their design to make this battery, supply more voltage than its previous version. The new battery has potential application in household appliances and is relatively fire resistant and is less like to explode under stress.
“In the past, if you wanted high energy, you would choose a non-aqueous lithium-ion battery, but you would have to compromise on safety. If you preferred safety, you could use an aqueous battery such as nickel/metal hydride, but you would have to settle for lower energy. Now, we are showing that you can simultaneously have access to both high energy and high safety.” said Dr. Kang Xu, author of the study.
The team mixed the right proportion of salt and water to form the perfect and most conducive electrode. On further increasing the concentration of salt, compared to water, battery was boosted to its maximum voltage from 1.23 V to 3 V.They advanced their study by using a gel polymer electrolyte that coats the anode and repels water from its surface much better than the previous version. This helped the battery reach its maximum voltage of 4 V.”The key innovation here is making the right gel that can block water contact with the anode so that the water doesn’t decompose and can also form the right interphase to support high battery performance,” said Chunsheng Wang, co-senior author of the study.
Further research is however, required to modify this technology for industrial application. The team is working on other designs, and is planning on reducing material expenses and increasing the number of full-performance cycles of the battery. The scientists hope to commercialize this product by 2023.