STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Lithium-air batteries may power future cars, houses

Current lithium-ion battery technology will probably not be able to handle the coming decades' huge demand for energy.

Published: 19th February 2019 05:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2019 05:11 PM   |  A+A-

Car

For representational purposes

By PTI

WASHINGTON: Lithium-air batteries, which run on ambient oxygen, may be a sustainable and environment-friendly way to store energy and power electric vehicles, houses, and industries of the future, scientists say.

Current lithium-ion battery technology will probably not be able to handle the coming decades' huge demand for energy. It is estimated that by 2050, electricity will make up 50 per cent of the world's energy mix.

Today, that rate is 18 per cent. However, installed capacity for renewable energy production is expected to increase fourfold.

This will require batteries that are more efficient, cheaper and environmentally friendly.

According to researchers from University of Campinas in Brazil, one of the alternatives being studied today in many parts of the world is the lithium-air battery.

The lithium-air battery, currently functioning only on a laboratory scale, uses ambient oxygen as a reagent. The battery stores additional energy through an electrochemical reaction that results in the formation of lithium oxide.

"There is a lot of talk today about electric cars. Some European countries are also thinking about banning combustion engines," said Rubens Maciel Filho, a professor at the University of Campinas.

"In addition, renewable sources like solar energy need batteries to store what is generated during the day through solar radiation," said Filho.

"It is a sustainable way to store electrical energy. With advances, it can support numerous discharge/charge cycles. It has great potential for use in transportation, in light and heavy vehicles alike. It can also work in electric power distribution networks," said Filho.

However, turning experiments into commercially viable products involves understanding the fundamentals of the electrochemical reactions that occur in the process.

"It also requires the development of new materials that allow us to leverage desirable reactions and minimise or avoid undesirable ones," said Maciel, director of the New Energy Innovation Center (CINE).

Maciel said that some of the phenomena need to be observed in operando, or in other words, in real time.

More efficient batteries are particularly important in a scenario in which the use of solar energy is expected to increase. Peak solar radiation during the day will require the need for efficient storage of energy so it can be drawn upon at night.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tech news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp