This new battery looks promising--at any rate, the inventor has good credentials: "94-year-old inventor of li-ion battery unveils solid-state battery breakthrough for fast charging, 3x density, and more"
One of the many exciting attributes of this battery is that it can use inexpensive and abundant sodium instead of lithium.
Yes. Another clear superiority of sodium is that spillage and end-of-life destinations already have sodium in equilibrium with the biosphere. Lithium on the other hand is an exotic element with as-yet-unknown long term effects. It is psychoactive in humans, so what happens to a small animal copping a faceful of it?
It will be wonderful if we can make a battery out of seawater (sodium) and sand (glass). But if we can't, the lithium battery will do just fine for a while. Incidentally, lithium ingested in moderation is a wonder drug for bipolar disorder, a use first discovered by Dr. John Cade of Australia in 1948. "In an age where the standard treatments for psychosis were electroconvulsive therapy and lobotomy, lithium had the distinction of being the first effective medication available to treat a mental illness." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cade
Post by Roger Clifton on Mar 29, 2017 8:14:46 GMT 9.5
Hi Huon. There is also sodium-sulfur batteries. Na-S batteries die gracefully, both elements being already common in the environment. Being cheap, they can be scaled up indefinitely, but have the disadvantage of leaking traces of H2S if moisture creeps in. The smelly gas is a useful warning of coincident hydrogen, but in increasing concentrations it quickly reaches lethal level.
Liquid sodium frightens people so is unwelcome in moving vehicles, but an immobilised form (in carbon sponge?) may emerge.
Whatever battery replaces lead-acid batteries, inevitable neglect of the discards will cause a flush of soluble lead into the inhabited environment. Soil lead is a nasty contaminant, and its influence in the soil will be permanent.
Hello, RC. Having to dispose of large quantities of lead from car batteries is a problem we want to have. It will coincide with the decline of the internal combustion engine and hence of oil use. (Even the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid uses a lead acid battery for starting the engine, for lights, and for ignition. The large lithium battery powers the electric motors.)
Perhaps we will convert some of the lead back to benign lead sulfide, the main ore of lead, and return it to the original mines. That would be real recycling.
Greg Simpson--Yes, skepticism is warranted about specific battery developments. But these developments are now coming so rapidly that some will probably pan out, and optimism about the field seems justified.
As for the Yale battery, here's a more detailed account and an excerpt: "According to the researchers, sulfur cathodes coated with the material can be stably discharged and recharged for more than 1,000 cycles, enhancing the battery's efficiency and number of cycles." www.greencarcongress.com/2017/03/20170323-yale.html