New aluminium, sulfur and salt battery proves to be fast, safe and inexpensive

New aluminium, sulfur and salt battery proves to be fast, safe and inexpensive

MIT engineers have developed a new, cheap and safe battery that can be charged quickly at high temperatures.

He wanted to invent something that would be better than lithium-ion batteries for small-scale stationary storage and, ultimately, automotive uses.

Donald Sadoway, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

New aluminium, sulfur and salt battery.

The international team got down to designing rechargeable batteries to innovate in the recipe and architecture.

The result is salt, aluminum and sulfur batteries, safe and inexpensive devices that can also operate at high temperatures.

Specifically, the team opted for a cell composed of an aluminum electrode, a sulfur electrode and a molten chlorine salt as the electrolyte.

All these ingredients are cheap and common, but above all they are not flammable, so the risk of fire or explosion of the devices is eliminated.

The researchers chose this salt because it has a low melting point, but it was also found to have another benefit: naturally prevents the formation of dendrites.

In the tests carried out, scientists have shown that salt, aluminum and sulfur batteries can withstand hundreds of cycles at exceptionally high charge rates. And with a cost per cell expected to be one-sixth that of lithium-ion.

They also showed that the charging rate strongly depends on the operating temperature. At 110°C, battery charging was up to 25 times faster than at 25°C.

The device does not need any external heat source to maintain its operating temperature. Indeed, heat is produced naturally during operation.

When charging, it generates heat and this prevents the salt from freezing. Same when you download it.

Donald Sadway.

The team says this the design would be suitable for a scale of a few tens of kilowatt hours, such as for home storage. Or to the columns of electric vehicles, thanks to its fast charge.

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