A NEW water-based salt battery with the potential to change the world of sustainable energy has been created by Murdoch University researchers.
The battery, developed by researchers from Murdoch’s School of Chemical and Mathematical Sciences provides an alternative to the expensive and impractical power storage technologies used today.
Researchers tested various metals and phosphates to produce a cost-effective battery with high energy density made from manganese dioxide and a novel olivine sodium phosphate.
Senior research fellow and project leader Dr Manickam Minakshi says the challenge was to find material for cathodes and anodes capable of accommodating sodium’s ionic size (which is two and a half times larger than that of lithium).
“Ions travel out of the cathode and into the anode to form a current,” Dr Minakshi says.
“As an imperfect analogy, you can think of them as mesh filters that ions pass through.
“We had to find materials with larger gaps in their mesh.”