California May Use Eco-Friendly Battery to Switch to Renewable Energy Sources

batteryA team of researchers in California have developed an eco-friendly, low cost rechargeable battery, which can be used to store energy on rainy days as solar power facilities. Headed by Sri Narayan, a professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the funds for the research was given by a division of the US Department of Energy called the Advanced Research Projects for Energy.

The battery that is air-breathing uses chemical energy produced. Oxidation of the iron plates present in the entire process, which are exposed to the oxygen in the air produces this chemical energy. Almost eight to twenty four hours’ worth of energy can be currently stored in these batteries.

The battery is the future

According to the chief inventor of this eco-friendly battery, Narayan, the invention is stated to be the future as the iron used to make it is quite cheap and air is found everywhere. The description of this battery will soon be published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

California utilities and the federal government have showcased their interest in this eco-friendly project as well, but a patent is still pending for the battery. Even though the concept of these batteries is decades old, the iron-air batteries were considered to be inefficient as hydrolysis would occur inside the battery and take off almost fifty percent of the energy in the battery. Hydrolysis is a hydrogen generation chemical reaction.

Iron-air battery part of many eco-promotional items

The batteries can be used as eco-promotional items once they are released to the public as they help reduce consumption of energy sources, which creates a sustainable living. Even though this battery was considered to inefficient decades ago, the air-breathing battery developed by Narayan and the team is 10 times more efficient and reduces the energy loss within the battery by four percent.

All the researchers’ dud was to add a tiny quantity of bismuth sulfide into the battery, which tends to help in decreasing unwanted hydrogen generation. Narayan said that a tiny bit of bismuth sulfide is not going to compromise the entire potential of this eco-friendly battery.

Jerry Brown, the Governor of the state approved the project under the California Renewable Energy Resources Act, under which it was stated that almost 33% of the utilities in the state will have to generate power from renewable energy resources by 2020.

Source: http://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=33753

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