The plethora of man-made garbage on our planet is one of the most pressing problems of our times, but this latest innovation is sure to help in our struggle to tame the beast. Researchers have developed a new method that uses waste goods to create sodium-ion batteries. These recycled materials batteries are safer than lithium variants, and if commercially viable, this will be a huge step towards the achieving renewable energy storage.
The scientists used rusty, recycled stainless steel mesh and employed a potassium ferrocyanide solution, which is the same solution used in fertilizers and in wine production, to assimilate ions out of the rust layer.
As Engadget reports,
“These nickle and iron ions were then bonded with other ions in the solution, which created a salt that clung to the mesh as scaffolded nanotubes that store and release potassium ions.
“The movement of potassium ions allows for conductivity, which was boosted with an added coating of oxidized graphite.”
“In tests, coin cells made with these new electrodes demonstrate excellent capacity, discharge voltages, rate capability, and outstanding cycle stability,” says a report about the invention. “Because the inexpensive, binder-free electrodes are very flexible, they are highly suitable for use in flexible electronic devices.”
The design was the first step of testing the concept, and now researchers are working on improving the invention to maximize its potential and commercialize it as soon as possible.
The research has been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.