A high-potential development in the field of energy storage

In the world of science, ‘striding ahead’ is the only constant phenomenon. When the entire world is anxious to prevent further rise of global temperature, and trying transiting towards harnessing renewable energy and deploying electricity-based transportation, developing sustainable energy storage devices has been one of the primary concerns of the energy scientists.

At present, Li-ion batteries are dominating the market owing to their ubiquitous presence. However, there are challenges like: it is fragile and requires a protection circuit to maintain safe operation. The protection circuit often creates several limitations. Thus, the search for something better is still continuing.

Under such circumstances, a new type of battery is now being developed at TU Wien (Vienna). This new oxygen-ion-based battery (patent applied) has some significant advantages. For example: although it does not allow for quite as high energy densities as the lithium-ion battery, its storage capacity does not decrease irrevocably over time. It can be regenerated – and thus may enable an extremely long service life. Also, these oxygen-ion batteries can be produced without rare elements – and are made of incombustible materials.

Once commercialised, the oxygen-ion battery will be an excellent solution for large energy storage systems, for example to store electrical energy from renewable sources. Basically, it has been built upon some research works on ceramic materials. The ceramic materials that the TU Wien team studied can absorb and release doubly negatively charged oxygen ions. When an electric voltage is applied, the oxygen ions migrate from one ceramic material to another, after which they can be made to migrate back again, thus generating electric current. Sooner the technology is commercially deployed, better it is for the world’s sustainability.

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