Progress: silicon-air battery last 1 Khours

July 25, 2016 | 00:00
Progress: silicon-air battery last 1 Khours
Progress: silicon-air battery last 1 Khours
Researchers from Jülich Research Center (Jülich, Germany) are confident to announce a weighty achievement in the area of energy storage. Their silicon-air battery was found to deliver energy over more than 1000 operating hours with a total battery up time of 46 days.

Silicon-air batteries rank high among the candidates for the succession of lithium-ion batteries for vehicles. They feature a much higher energy density and thus are smaller and lighter. Plus, they are environmentally friendly and resilient against external influences. Also, they are made of silicon rather than a rare earth material and thus are cheap to make from virtually unlimited resources. There’s also a drawback though: a lifetime of just a few minutes!

To lengthen lifetime, the researchers developed a pump system that refills the electrolyte from time to time. As long as the silicon anode is in contact with the electrolytes, the battery will generate electricity. With this method, the Jülich battery remained active until the silicon was used up after more than 1100 hours. Once the electrode is used up, it can be reactivated by replacing the anode.

As the next step, the scientists are now searching for a way to keep the battery up without having to constantly refill the electrolyte.
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