Posted on 8 December 2018 |
December 8, 2018 according to Steve Hanley
Lithium is one of the components that is suitable for battery production, but it is not the only one. Flouride – the most electro-negative element in a periodic table – is also suitable for a task. In fact, fluoride batteries can be 10 times more energy than lithium batteries. But so far they need to be heated to 150 ° C (300 ° F for the inhabitants of former British colonies) to work.
A joint research team of engineers from Honda, NASA and Caltech addressed this issue by creating a new liquid electrolyte called BTFE that allows fluoride to dissolve at room temperature, Engadget. When used in a prototype battery consisting of copper, lanthanum and fluorine, the new battery can be discharged and charged at room temperature. The prototype, according to Honda, also has a "more favorable environmental footprint" than a lithium battery. No word about how well it works in winter when the thermometer is well below room temperature.
Can you imagine what battery with 10 times the power density of the battery pack could do for a range of electric cars? The prospects are exciting, no doubt about it. However, there are several obstacles that need to be cleaned first. One thing, anode and cathode prototype battery tend to completely dissolve in the electrolyte.
That's a problem, but the team is trying to find a solution. If they can solve a problem with high operating temperature, anodic and cathode formation that does not dissolve should be a child's play.
Performing breakthroughs in the laboratory is one thing. Thinking of these breakthroughs into products that can be easily manufactured and commercially made is a whole different thing. Do not put the fluoride batteries in the EV soon. Many laboratory miracles never come out. This could be another blind spot in a long line of battery research that has never been done anywhere.
Still, the prospects are excited, and Honda, NASA and Caltech are not amateurs who wander around Bunsen's burners and beaker in the garage at night. We need the next step in battery development to take place as soon as possible to push the revolution of clean energy forward, but nature does not give up on its request. Patience, grasshopper.