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Rechargeable Iron Ion Battery
May 08, 2019

Rechargeable Iron Ion Battery

  • Ramaprabhu S Department of Physics

Most commercial batteries today are constructed using Lithium. Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in various electronic devices due to their higher energy density. But they also have several drawbacks, for instance, they need protection from overcharging and short-circuiting. Also, the cost of lithium is on the rise up due to the increasing demand for lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles. Exploring new battery chemistry to overcome these drawbacks will be a step forward in meeting the growing energy demands.

The recent innovation of the team has addressed such disadvantages by using iron as the multivalent charge carrier. Compared to other metals, iron is cheaper, has a smaller ionic radius with favourable redox potential. Since these benefits are overlooked, the potential use of iron in rechargeable metal ion battery has not been realised yet. The team has overcome this challenge by inventing a suitable electrolyte for the operation of the battery. 

Iron ion battery is designed using metal oxide as one of the electrodes and mild steel is chosen for the other electrode, the cheapest source of iron in an ether-based electrolyte. Using this design, the team is able to achieve 60% of the performance obtained in the conventional lithium-ion battery. Iron does not form dendrites during the charging process and therefore prevents short-circuiting of the batteries. Thus, when compared to the popular Lithium metalbased batteries, these are cost-efficient and less harmful.