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The experts who have gathered at the recently held 1st International Congress on Metal-Air Batteries (Mabic 15) have concluded that these efficient energy storage systems will begin to be marketed from 2020 and will be a cheaper, lighter and cheaper alternative. with greater autonomy than current batteries.
Held at the Coruña headquarters of the National Museum of Science and Technology (Muncyt), with the participation of national and international experts, the meeting represents the seed of a project "that seeks to have continuity and, in view of the good results of this first edition, will have it ", as indicated with frank satisfaction Mr. Joaquín Chacón, president of the Foundation of Support to the Muncyt (Famuncyt).
There is a huge and growing expectation around energy storage, which is strategically configured in the paradigm of the new energy model and where the battery becomes the philosopher's stone for self-consumption.
Although the incessant advances in Li-On technology have allowed products such as mobiles and electric vehicles to take off, other technologies such as Metal-Air hope to take over and reach new frontiers.
The METAL-AIR Battery:
A metal-air electrochemical cell is an electrochemical cell that uses an anode made of pure metal and an external cathode of ambient air, usually with an aqueous electrolyte solution.
Within the metal / air family, the electrochemical pair with the greatest possibilities of commercial success in its application to the various needs related to Smart Grids, is the one based on Aluminum / air.
Aluminum is accessible in the market, recyclable and, compared to other systems of the same family, has a high energy density (8 kWh per kg) and a voltage per cell similar to that known from alkaline batteries, based on Nickel electrodes.
In Al-Air batteries the aluminum plate constitutes the anode and the air performs the functions of the cathode. The basic chemical equation is made up of four aluminum atoms, three oxygen molecules, and six water molecules, which combine to produce four molecules of hydrated aluminum oxide plus energy.
This battery uses water in its process and recycles the hydrated aluminum oxide to create an anode, through a closed life cycle. A conventional battery consists of an anode and a cathode, where the cathode represents up to 70% of the weight of the battery. The cathode is used as a container for a reagent, which accounts for up to 5% of its weight, which is necessary for the release of energy in a metal anode. This means that most of the weight of a conventional battery is not used properly.
In practice it has been tested on a vehicle that has traveled 1,600 kilometers on a single charge.
The use of high performance batteries based on aluminum-air had been limited to military applications, due to the problem of eliminating aluminum oxide and replacing the aluminum anode plates, so their recharging was complicated, a drawback that makes several years it is overcome with very promising prospects.