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One of the biggest drawbacks of electric vehicles – that they require hours and hours to charge – could be obliterated by new type of liquid battery that is roughly ten times more energy-dense than existing models, according to Professor Lee Cronin, the Regius Chair of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, UK.
What's so special about this liquid, or flow, battery?
Vehicle - Battery - Charge - Power - Socket
"A normal electric vehicle has a solid battery, and when that runs out of charge you have to recharge it by plugging it in to a power socket. This takes half an hour or so if you find a rapid charger at a motorway service station, or up to 12 hours at home. Our battery, however, is made of a liquid rather than a solid. If you run out of charge, you could in principle pump out the depleted liquid and – like a regular petrol or diesel vehicle – refill it with liquid that is ready-charged. And that would take minutes."
How does it work?
Part - Battery - Charge - Electrolyte - Electrodes
"The part of a battery containing the charge is known as the electrolyte and when this is made of a solid it is sandwiched between two electrodes. When you use the battery, a chemical reaction takes place inside the electrolyte, and charge passes from one electrode to the other until the electrolyte is depleted. Then you charge the battery up, by forcing charge in the opposite direction through the electrodes, until the system is recharged.
"A flow battery is different. Here, because the electrolyte is made of a liquid, it can be stored in a tank, and pumped past the electrodes during operation. Because you've got a lot more electrolyte to draw on, a flow battery can produce a lot of power – you get more bang for your buck."
Reaction - Making
So it's still the same chemical reaction making...
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