September 22, 2014

New formulation leads to improved liquid battery

Cheaper, longer-lasting materials could enable batteries that make wind and solar energy more competitive.

Researchers at MIT have improved a proposed liquid battery system that could enable renewable energy sources to compete with conventional power plants.

Donald Sadoway and colleagues have already started a company to produce electrical-grid-scale liquid batteries, whose layers of molten material automatically separate due to their differing densities. But the new formula — published in the journal Nature by Sadoway, former postdocs Kangli Wang and Kai Jiang, and seven others — substitutes different metals for the molten layers used in a battery previously developed by the team.