Could salt be the key to cheaper and more efficient batteries?

Researchers at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics seem to think so…

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By Jonny Bairstow

A new design of rechargeable battery created using salt could boost efficiency and reduce costs.

That’s according to researchers at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, who claim to have found a novel method of energy storage.

They have developed an iron-oxygen battery containing a bi-phase electrolyte of molten carbonate and solid oxide and say it offers significantly improved battery reaction kinetics and power capability without compromising energy capacity.

Paper Author Dr Cheng Peng said: “One type of high temperature metal-oxygen battery is the so called molten air battery which can use base metals for fast multiple electron charge transfer in molten salts. The molten salts have the capability to dissolve metal oxides.

“The result was a low-cost and long service life rechargeable high-temperature molten salt iron-oxygen battery with both high energy storage capacity and fast charging and discharging power capability.”