The revolutionary re-chargeable batteries could for more than a decade
Current “flow batteries” store energy in a liquid and wear out rapidly when used regularly.
But researchers in the US have been able to modify molecules in electrolytes, key groups of atoms in battery chemicals and make them stable, water soluble and longer lasting.
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They designed a system in which energy is stored in organic molecules dissolved in water.
The battery designed by Harvard University loses only one per cent of its capacity for every 1,000 times it is re-charged.
The energy is stored in organic molecules
A standard lithium-ion battery lasts only around 1,000 recharges in its lifetime.
Lithium ion batteries don’t even survive 1,000 complete charge-discharge cycles
Professor Michael Aziz
Officials in the US believe the technology could be harnessed to boost the electricity grid.
Professor Michael Aziz said: “Lithium ion batteries don’t even survive 1,000 complete charge-discharge cycles.
“Because we were able to dissolve the electrolytes in neutral water, this is a longlasting battery that you could put in your basement.
“If it spilled on the floor, it wouldn’t eat the concrete and, since the medium is noncorrosive, you can use cheaper materials to build the components.”
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Imre Gyuk of the US Department of Energy said: “This work on aqueous soluble organic electrolytes is of high significance in pointing the way towards future batteries with vastly improved cycle life and considerably lower cost.”