The team of researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) was able to create a battery equipped for enduring over ten years. The team successfully designed the battery to remain non-corrosive and non-toxic.
The research was conducted by professors, Michael Aziz and Roy Gordon. They were able to discover the battery capacity that loses just one percent of 1,000 per cycles. The battery stores energy in liquid solutions, which the researchers modified the molecules in the viologen and ferrocene, as well as the electrolytes.
According to Engadget, it is the one of the most inexpensive battery ever discovered. The battery's safer materials are less expensive than the natural polymers. Compared to lithium-ion batteries that do not survive the thousand complete discharged cycles.
The secret key of designing the battery was to seek answer about molecules' rapid degrading. Researchers studied how the molecule, viologen decompose, which helped the team identify the molecular structure and engineer it to make more resilient.
The new flow battery can store energy in organic molecules, which can be dissolved in the neutral pH water. The modified structures of molecules have positive and negative electrolyte solutions, which makes them water-soluble.
The neutral pH helps in reducing the cost of the ion-membrane that separated the two sides of the battery. Researchers were able to turn an insoluble molecule into a highly soluble one that could also be cycled stably. Gordon claimed that if the battery spilled on the floor, the mop is the only solution. The battery also needs less maintenance than the traditional.
The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to produce a battery that can store energy for less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, as per Digital Trends. The organization wants to achieve competitive traditional power plants that can renew energy.