Friday, April 15, 2011

Better Batteries, Cheaper Splitting of Water to Hydrogen, O2

Ionic Liquid Batteries from US Naval Research Lab
While working with ionic liquids based on mineral acids, such as hydrogen sulphates, it was observed that Zn metal would react to form zinc sulphate. Since this is similar to that observed for the zinc anode in a standard alkaline cell, a series of experiments were then performed to determine how different metal oxides reacted in these types of ionic liquids.

Electrochemical experiments demonstrate that not only can these reactive ionic liquids act as the electrolyte/separator in both solid state and liquid batteries, but they can also act as a reactive species in the cell’s electrochemical makeup. Using a non-aqueous approach to primary and secondary power sources, batteries are designed using standard cathode and anode materials such as magnesium dioxide (MgO2), lead dioxide (PbO2) and silver oxide (AgO). The ionic liquid that is the main focus of this work is 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium hydrogen sulphate (EMIHSO4), however, other ionic liquids such as those based on the nitrate and dihydrogen phosphate anions have also been found to work well in this type of a battery design. _GCC

Cheap, Molybdenum based catalysts for inexpensive splitting of water
A team led by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Professor Xile Hu has discovered that a molybdenum-based catalyst allows the electrolytic production of hydrogen at room temperature, and is inexpensive and efficient. The results provide new opportunities for the development of renewable and economic hydrogen production technologies. A paper on the work appears in the RSC journal Chemical Science. _GCC

Xtreme Power's proprietary Power Cell technology will be used to provide 36 MW of storage at Duke Power's Texas "Notree" wind farm. More: "World's Biggest Battery"
PDF details
Large scale power storage may eventually make wind and solar more competitive power providers for particular locations where nuclear power is not practical -- isolated third world locations with minimal technical expertise.

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