Most of our everyday electronics run on Lithium batteries. But the planet’s supply of Lithium is concentrated in a few localized regions and other metals that go in the Lithium batteries are also scarce in nature. Mining of these metals have very hazardous consequences on environment including carbon footprint, clearing land of vegetation and dumping of chemicals into ecosystem.
The researchers from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia have come up with the first-ever rechargeable Proton Battery, which runs on cheap environmentally friendly materials, Carbon and Water.
The Proton Battery has electrodes made of carbon and is charged by splitting water molecules. We store these readily available protons from water on carbon which is an abundant metal on Earth.
The battery can be charged like any other rechargeable battery. The battery is plugged in a charging port and the electricity from the power supply splits the water molecules generating protons which bond with carbon in battery’s electrode. The protons are then released again to pass through the fuel cell, where they interact with air to form water and generate power.
The performance is also quite impressive as an active surface area of only 5.5 square centimeters can store as much as Lithium-ion battery available commercially. The battery has zero environmental impact as it requires only carbon and water, the main emission due to this battery as of now is the source of electricity used to charge it.
The batteries will be commercially available within five to ten years. With the paradigm shift to the clean energy the demand of batteries is expected to rise in coming years to harvest the solar and wind energy and take advantage of it when weather turns.