Harvard Researchers Use New Organic Molecules For Efficient And Inexpensive Batteries.

Harvard Researchers Use New Organic Molecules For Efficient And Inexpensive Batteries.

Date:Sep 29, 2019

Battery storage capacity is critical to the use of clean energy such as wind and solar energy. Researchers at Harvard University have discovered an organic molecule that is expected to be used in long-lasting, high-quality flow batteries that are safer and cheaper than current batteries.


The flow battery is an electrochemical energy storage device that is safer and more economical than traditional lithium batteries in storing large-scale clean energy. At present, vanadium flow batteries using a vanadium salt solution for positive and negative electrodes are common, but the cost and maintenance cost of such a battery are relatively high.

A study published in the journal Joule in the United States on the 23rd showed that a molecule called "Masalah" can charge and discharge tens of thousands of times in a few years. "Massala" is taken from the longevity patriarch of the Old Testament, which is a key element in the natural processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

Harvard University's materials science and chemistry researchers collaborated to analyze the aging process in liquid batteries. On this basis, the ruthenium molecules were modified and modified to improve the life of the flow battery."Masalah" molecule.

Studies have shown that under laboratory conditions, the aging rate of "Masalah" molecules is less than 0.01% per day, the aging rate caused by each charge and discharge is less than 0.00%, and the annual aging rate is expected to be less than 3%, which is expected to be effective. Charge and discharge tens of thousands of times. In addition, the “Masalah” molecule is highly soluble and can store more energy in a small space. Since the "Masalah" molecule functions in a weakly alkaline electrolyte, a more inexpensive sealing material and a polymer film can be used to separate the positive and negative electrodes, further reducing the cost.


The author of the paper, Michael Aziz, a professor of materials and energy technology at Harvard University, said that the flow battery made with this newly discovered molecule has longer-lasting stability and is commercially available. David Kaby, a co-author of the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, said the organic molecule is expected to replace expensive vanadium flow batteries.


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