Engineers created a liquid metal battery that works even at room temperature and has a number of additional advantages, compared with existing devices.
Most modern batteries consist of solid-state electrodes, such as lithium-ion. They have significant energy intensity, but their productivity is gradually deteriorating. There are also batteries with liquid electrodes, for the normal operation of which the temperature is usually above 240 ° C. They are able to effectively store and deliver energy, but do not have such a high container, or require constant heating.
A team of researchers from the University of Texas in Austin introduced a new liquid-metal battery, which combines the best qualities of two types. According to the developers, the created prototype can function normally at a temperature of 20 ° C, accumulate a sufficiently large amount of energy, effectively transporting it and steadily to work for a long period of time.
Anode of a new battery consists of potassium alloy and sodium, and the cathode consists of a gallium-based alloy. Since its main components are in a liquid state, the device is easily scaled.
In the future, the team plans to find a cheaper alternative to Gallia (the only expensive material in the design) to reduce the cost, as well as to improve the electrolytes to increase the capacity of the work in room temperature.
Researchers also work on improving and other types of batteries. For example, in November, Skoltech introduced a high-power potassium battery,
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