Skip to comments.New Metal-Air Battery Drives Car 1800Km Without Recharge
Posted on 06/10/2014 6:46:54 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
Israeli company Phinergy claim to have produced a battery that can power a Citroen C1 for 3000km, and have demonstrated a 1800km drive with a more practical version, three times that available from commercial electric cars. Even more dramatically, the battery weighs just 100km, a fifth of the weight of those in the Tesla Model S.
Metal-air batteries use the oxygen in the air around them, rather than storing it in liquid or solid chemicals. They can store far more energy than most competing technologies. Not needing to contain the oxygen can also cut the weight dramatically Phinergy claim that 70% of the weight in a conventional car battery is in the cathode, mostly just to store the oxygen.
With such benefits, metal-air batteries have been a topic of research for some time. Lithium-air batteries have theoretical energy per weight almost as high as petrol. However, a range of practical problems have prevented widespread commercialization.
Aluminum-air batteries don't have the same potential energy per kilogram of lithium-air battery, but could theoretically reach energy densities many times better than the lithium-ion batteries that are currently the industry standard.
One of the challenges for metal-air batteries is to capture enough oxygen to provide the power required. Phinergy's porous electrodes have the surface area to allow this. A silver-based catalyst prevents carbon dioxide from permeating the electrodes, a common problem for other experimental versions of this technology that reduces their lifespan to the point of impracticality.
Like anything based on aluminum, there is a lot of embodied energy in Phinergy's batteries, but they are manufacturing their products in Quebec, where the electricity is almost entirely sourced from hydroelectric stations, keeping the carbon footprint small.
The big disadvantage of aluminum-air batteries is that they don't last. The aluminum turns to aluminum-hydroxide. While this can be recycled, it can't be recharged by plugging the battery into a powerpoint. Instead the whole battery will need to be replaced when the aluminum has been used up. Advocates of this system claim that battery swaps can be done quickly and easily.
However, any battery that needs to be replaced so frequently is not only expensive, but runs into the problem that has bedeviled many alternatives to gasoline-powered cars. People are reluctant to buy vehicles that depend on the availability of refueling or replacement stations if these are not available everywhere they might be needed. On the other hand, without a critical mass of owners of suitable vehicles, such stations are not viable.
By extending the capacity of the electric car to drive much further on a single charge, aluminum-air batteries greatly reduce this problem when it comes to quick recharge points, but at the cost of increasing the need to be able to access places where batteries can be replaced.
Phinergy's solution is to use a twin battery solution. A small lithium-ion battery will allow trips up to 50km, more than adequate for most city journeys. The aluminum-air battery will be saved for longer trips, avoiding the need to replace it except where the car is used for frequent long journeys. If the whole battery was aluminum-air the car's maximum range might be as much as 3000km, but with the need to replace the entire engine thereafter.
Even if these problems have been successfully addressed, it remains to be seen whether Phinergy have found a solution to the other major obstacle to aluminum-air batteries, the high cost of the anode.
A zinc-air battery could potentially offer even more advantages but has been hard to mass produce. Phyinergy claim they are on the way to commercializing that as well.
1,800km = 1,125 miles
3 000 kilometer = 1 864.113 576 7 mile
on one charge?......................
“the battery weighs just 100km”
Thats a pretty heavy, er long battery.
the car also goes 3000kg without charging!
“The big disadvantage of aluminum-air batteries is that they don’t last. The aluminum turns to aluminum-hydroxide. While this can be recycled, it can’t be recharged by plugging the battery into a powerpoint.”
Say goodbye to OPEC.........
1/5th the weight of the Tesla battery
I was making fun of the ‘km’ used in the article.
1,875 miles on one charge is what they are claiming. They’ve demonstrated 1,125 miles which is close to four times the range of Tesla’s Model S.
How much would this disposable battery cost? Bet you can buy a ton of gasoline for that price.
At what cost?
Have no idea.
I know...And I wasn’t correcting you. Just wanted to reduce it to pounds.
But it can go 22 volt-amps per circular hectare.
Beyond important, that detail seems critical.
How long before battery replacement?
Maybe with some additional R&D investment, they can solve this problem. Then I'll be a multi-gazillionaire with my hundreds of powerpoint decks sitting around collecting bit dust. If you make me an offer now, I'll let them go for a song. Don't wait! You must act now before this new technology takes off and my PPTX deck prices soar!
cant be recharged, which means you have to buy a new one every thousand or so miles at an astronomical cost.
Remember when a flatscreen was $70,000?
They may use air, but they still have a liquid electrolyte that is separated from the air by a fragile membrane. I don't think it would do well in a crash.
No, the aluminum battery is not rechargeable, it must be replaced after it is depleted.
It always amused me when I was a kid. We went fishing in Canada. The road signs and the liter gas pumps made me nuts.
But why use a silver catalyst? That could be very expensive. There are cheaper CO2 scrubbers: zeolites and ethanolamine come to mind.
I see that it can run for 1800 km on one charge, but what’s that “3000 km” bit? That’s the lifetime of the battery? One month, maybe two, of regular driving?
Yeah, them arabs should have nicer to the Jews when they had the chance...
Heck, I could drive from Richmond to Washington D.C. just on the ones I made this morning. But why would I want to...drive to D.C.?
Here it says it would cost about $50, plus labour.
It might be comparable to gasoline.
How much is that in furlongs per fortnight?
Another freaky thing about Canada, from my point of view, was the use of what Americans call the ‘breakdown lane’ as a passing lane for tractor-trailers. In heavy fog or rain, unwary Yanks would pull off the road and park, only to be creamed by a hurtling semi.
“How long before battery replacement?”
My interpretation is the battery gets used once - just like a disposable battery in a flashlight.
In the article, they have a strategy of using a smaller rechargeable battery for daily driving, and this large battery would be in reserve, ready for a long trip.
IOW, this battery is not a breakthrough.
Wow! These would be great for space exploration!
On one and the only charge. Metal-air batteries are one-shot devices. I, personally, wouldn't want to deal with a battery replacement - neither after 1,000 miles, nor after 2,000 miles. As the article says, people are reluctant to buy vehicles that require frequent and expensive service. There was another company in Israel, Better Place. It is dead now. However a bunch of people bought electric cars that depend on Better Place's battery swapping stations. Now they have to charge them themselves - and it is not trivial.
Still, this development may end up being useful for EVs. But, as I said on many occasions, EVs should first be used in high mileage, small range applications - local delivery, taxicabs, business. Only there the lower cost of each mile can be quickly converted to real savings. A car for a common man has to be universal, long range, and easy to refill - it is the hardest target, outside of heavy trucks. Common man does not drive all that much, and there are good chances that the car will be scrapped because of old age before it crosses the threshold of savings.
Furthermore, slow or delayed delivery of benefit makes the lump sum that is paid for the car even larger, as this money is tied up instead of being invested. As many people calculated, a Tesla for $60-80K may never become profitable; you could buy a $20K car, invest $40-60K on 5%/yr terms, and this would net you a fixed income of $2-3K per year. Today that will pay for 500-750 gallons of gasoline, or (at 40 mpg) for 20-30K miles per year, forever. You must drive more than that to have a hope of ever breaking even because an EV has its own costs per mile. A heavily used fleet car can easily exceed this mileage; however an office worker who drives 15K miles per year cannot do that.
>> At what cost?
Stop asking such pesky, irrelevant questions. It’s good for the children and it doesn’t burn the Oil of Satan. That’s all you need to know.
At least 5,000 hectares, I'm guessing.
You still need to burn coal to get the electricity.
Good point. Tesla is positioned to take advantage of any advancements in energy storage. However, there have been thousands of claims like this one. They never materialize.
The energy isn't the big CO2 source in aluminum refining. You heat up the aluminum oxide until it is molten, put in a carbon electrode and run current through it. This results in the chemical reaction 2Al2O3 + 3C -> 4Al + 3CO2. Well, what do you know, CO2 is released. Unless you can capture this or have a carbon neutral way of producing the carbon anode out of atmospheric carbon, this isn't a way of reducing the carbon footprint of driving.
They were working to establish a network of battery pack swap stations for specially equipped cars converted to electric with easily removed and replaced modular battery packs, Renault I think, several years ago in Israel. This was to overcome range and time to recharge issues present in existing technology at that time. Haven't heard much about it since, but this appears to feed into that same scheme with a much improved battery pack.
Here is what they claim:
At todays market rate, a kilo of aluminium costs $2, and one pack of 50 plates weighs 25kg so, ignoring labor costs, it would cost $50 to refill your Al-air battery.
A battery would cost $50 only if it is a roughly cast slab of Aluminum. If any human has to touch it - to machine it, or to add anything to it, or to put it into a box... the price starts climbing very fast. You cannot ignore labor costs. You also cannot ignore the replacement labor and the time wasted at the service center. Recycling of those batteries will be also an expensive and dirty process - guess who is going to pay for that? Customers, of course - as they do it already with other hazardous items.
There is yet another catch. Say, you have a 1,200 mile battery, and you used up 1,000 miles already. How comfortable will you be driving on the remaining capacity? Some charge of these batteries will be wasted, as people cannot afford to have a car that won't go where they need it, even *in case* if they need it. This doesn't happen with gas cars and rechargeable EVs. It's possible to make a hybrid EV, but it won't make it cheaper, and you'd be taking both batteries on sightseeing tours all over the area. Most individuals do not want this complexity.
Is Freeper here aware of any gas or diesel powered engine that runs at a constant (optimal) speed that could be used to power a small electric battery charger?
I am looking for a very small one
Research the engines used in the smallest diesel generators. There’s a small Subaru diesel that is popular in offroad utility vehicles that might be decent, other manufacturers as well.
Keep trying. Maybe the next discovery will be the one.
Whatever shortcomings this currently has will be overcome pretty quickly.
Then we can wave goodbye to Arab oil and American companies gouging us at the pump.
First, you don't want constant speed - the optimal speed depends on the load. You want a generator with a sine wave inverter. There are many of those sold at Home Depot, Harbor Freight, etc. They can be very small, portable, and quiet. A diesel engine may be not a good fit for a very small generator.
Despite my freaking out, the walleyes were the best in the world.
They've gone on to a better place?................
It ain’t a battery.
As others have pointed out here, you’re generating electricity by (effectively) burning aluminum.
And where do you get the aluminum from? The electrolysis of oxidized aluminum - essentially by using the energy of electricity to reduce the aluminum oxide back to the metal.
So unless they’ve invented a perpetual motion system, they’ve simply come up with an energy transduction system - you take an energy source in some form (just for fun, let’s make it coal); you use it to generate electricity; you use that electricity to make aluminum metal; you use that aluminum metal to get back (some of) the electricity you put in, and run a car on it (until the aluminum is used up).
Whether it makes any sense or not depends on your ultimate energy source (nukes? coal? hydro?) and how great the energy losses are in every step of the process (unfortunately, there’s no getting around the laws of thermodynamics).