In Germany, they introduced environmentally friendly batteries that can store energy without harm to the environment. They work even at very high temperatures.
The researchers explained that for the further development of renewable energy, suitable storage devices are needed. Therefore, scientists from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Germany) have developed new polymer electrolytes for redox batteries that are flexible, efficient, and environmentally friendly. They reported their discovery in the Advanced Energy Materials publication.
A new material developed by chemists is used in so-called redox batteries. In this type of battery, the energy storage components dissolve, so they can be stored in a decentralized place, which allows the battery to be enlarged as needed.
With this flexibility, redox batteries have great potential to become an important energy storage medium in the future. But they have two problems – the use of environmentally hazardous and toxic heavy metals, as well as the maximum operating temperature of devices up to 40 degrees Celsius.
Scientists have solved both problems with the new material. This polymer is soluble in water, which makes it suitable for use in an aqueous electrolyte, and contains iron, so it stores electricity. At the same time, the polymer can withstand significantly higher temperatures – up to 60 degrees Celsius – so there is no need for additional waste on it. In addition, while testing the new system, researchers found that it also performed more efficiently than its predecessors.
This means that the electricity can be stored in a non-hazardous water-based solution, which is then temporarily stored in tanks, and the electricity in the battery can be used again the next day without significant waste and additional effort. Such systems can also be used in warmer regions such as Africa, India, or Brazil.