Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

Air-Breathing battery development increases storage capacity with greater longevity at a fraction of the cost of other batteries.

 

A team of researchers from MIT have developed an air-breathing battery capable of storing electricity with greater longevity and at a fraction of the cost of other energy sources. The development solves intermittency issues that often keep power sources from connecting to the grid.

Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT stated that the battery “inhales and exhales” oxygen, which balances the charge. “Breathing” in the oxygen causes the anode to discharge electrons to an external circuit, while releasing that oxygen recharges the battery by returning electrons to the anode.

The overall cost of the battery is 1/30th of the cost of lithium-ion batteries. At this rate, a larger system utilizing these batteries could store solar and wind power for approximately $20-30 per kilowatt hour, while competing batteries offer the energy density needed but cost upwards of $100 per kilowatt hour.

Chiang stated, “This meant maybe we weren’t focusing on the right thing, with an ever-increasing chemical cost in pursuit of high energy density. We said, ‘If we want energy storage at the terawatt scale, we have to use truly abundant materials.’” This pursuit led them to sulfur, which is easily accessible. The next step was locating a stable but inexpensive liquid for the cathode.

 

Researchers experimented with potassium permanganate, knowing that utilizing it as a cathode material, the reaction would discharge electricity. However, the process is typically impossible, so positive results were not anticipated. Continuing with the experiment, research author Zheng Li, a postdoc at MIT at the time, stumbled upon a discovery. While the reaction was not reversible, an oxygen reaction in the cathode caused the battery to recharge.

Describing the moment, Chiang remarked on his surprise at Li’s discovery. “I said, ‘Wait, you figured out a rechargeable chemistry using sulfur that does not require a cathode compound?’ That was the ah-ha moment.”

Chiang also stated that systems utilizing such batteries stand to compete with pumped hydroelectric storage systems. These systems provide much of the energy throughout the world. “The energy density of a flow battery like this is more than 500 times higher than pumped hydroelectric storage. It’s also so much more compact so that you can imagine putting it anywhere you have renewable generation.”

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Air-Breathing battery development increases storage capacity with greater longevity at a fraction of the cost of other batteries.

Air-Breathing battery development increases storage capacity with greater longevity at a fraction of the cost of other batteries.

  A team of researchers from MIT have developed an air-breathing battery capable of storing electricity with greater longevity and at a fraction of the cost of other energy sources. The development solves intermittency issues that often keep power sources from connecting to the grid. Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at…

First drone crash with a commercial aircraft in Canada triggers safety review and possible new rules

First drone crash with a commercial aircraft in Canada triggers safety review and possible new rules

According to a statement by Transport Minister Marc Garneau, a collision between a drone and a Canadian passenger plane occurred last month. As stated by the minister, the October 12 incident was “the first time a drone has hit a commercial aircraft in Canada.” He expressed his relief over the safety of the passengers and…

“I will destroy humans” says life-like robot: Elon Musk’s claim that artificial intelligence poses a threat to mankind may be justified?

“I will destroy humans” says life-like robot: Elon Musk’s claim that artificial intelligence poses a threat to mankind may be justified?

It may have been a glitch, but during a media interview, a “smart learning” robot named Sophia declared: “Okay, I will destroy humans.”     Although this was in response to an interview question from a journalist, it came across as a little jarringly frightening — rather than as the joke that might have been…

Smart winery? Environmental Health Monitoring Technology to boost plant production; pilot with Ontario winery with Bell in partnership with Huawei

Smart winery? Environmental Health Monitoring Technology to boost plant production; pilot with Ontario winery with Bell in partnership with Huawei

Bell announced a new partnership with Ontario-based BeWhere, an Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company, and China-based tech company Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker. Huawei worked with Bell to develop “an environmental monitoring solution to help improve the health and quality of plants at the vineyard.” Steve Lu, President of Huawei Canada said:…

$6.5 million Small Business Innovation Challenge to develop technologies in “Vehicle Occupancy Detection” and “Digital Identity”

$6.5 million Small Business Innovation Challenge to develop technologies in “Vehicle Occupancy Detection” and “Digital Identity”

Funded by the Ontario Government, the Small Business Innovation Challenge is helping companies develop new technologies in Vehicle Occupancy Detection — used to detect how many people are in an automobile for high occupancy toll roads (HOT) — and Digital Identity to help secure government services. To date, $6.5 million has been allocated, with $3.76…

Ontario launches Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network in Stratford to highlight privonce as the “go to” for Autonomous tech

Ontario launches Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network in Stratford to highlight privonce as the “go to” for Autonomous tech

Ontario is reinforcing its status as a go-to destination for developing automated vehicles by launching AVIN, the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, in Stratford. This unique demonstration zone is among the first of its kind in Canada and will allow researchers to hone the technology and test an AV in a wide range of everyday, real-life…

GO Transit may deploy hydrogen-power rather than electric; consults with Canadian fuel cell technology company that worked on world’s first hydrogen-powered train

GO Transit may deploy hydrogen-power rather than electric; consults with Canadian fuel cell technology company that worked on world’s first hydrogen-powered train

  Canadian hydrogen generation and fuel cell products developer Hydrogenics Corporation will formally undertake feasibility study for GO Transit to potentially deploy hydrogen-powered trains for Ontario. These trains have aleady proven successful in Europe, using technology developed in Canada at Hydrogenics. The Ontario Government announced the consultation yesterday, as part of its $13.5 billion RER…

100,000 watt laser firing 10,000 pulses per second would “deorbit” tons of dangerous space debris

100,000 watt laser firing 10,000 pulses per second would “deorbit” tons of dangerous space debris

The Extreme Univese Space Observatory telescope, originally built to detect cosmic rays, could be used to target space debris in orbit. According to scientists, a powerful laser can then be used to de-orbit space junk that endangers the International Space Station and other satelites. The laser system would be armed with a 100,000 wat ultraviolet…

Women will represent 50% of leadership positions at Oath (AOL-Yahoo merger) says CEO Tim Armstrong

Women will represent 50% of leadership positions at Oath (AOL-Yahoo merger) says CEO Tim Armstrong

In a move toward equality and inclusivity, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong has announced a mission to fill at least half of the company’s leadership positions with women by 2020. He had the opportunity to discuss this mission in a recent episode of CNN’s Boss Files with Poppy Harlow.     The CEO of Oath —…

Latest Update on KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack): the flaw in WPA2 protocal for WIFI systems

Latest Update on KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack): the flaw in WPA2 protocal for WIFI systems

Belgian researchers, Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens — who recently issued warnings concerning a bug in the WPA2 protocol, a widely used system for securing Wi-Fi communications — have made tools available to “detect whether an implementaiton of the 4-way handshake… is vulnerable to key reinstallation attacks.” Standard protocols, such as “changing the password” will…

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