One of the alternatives being studied today in many parts of the world is the lithium-air battery. Some of the Brazilian efforts in the search for such device were presented on Day Two of FAPESP Week London, held February 11-12, 2019.
"There is a lot of talk today about electric cars. Some European countries are also thinking about banning combustion engines. In addition, renewable sources like solar energy need batteries to store what is generated during the day through solar radiation," said Rubens Maciel Filho, a professor at the School of Chemical Engineering of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP).
Battery - Laboratory - Scale - Oxygen - Reagent
The lithium-air battery, currently functioning only on a laboratory scale, uses ambient oxygen as a reagent. The battery stores additional energy through an electrochemical reaction that results in the formation of lithium oxide.
"It is a sustainable way to store electrical energy. With advances, it can support numerous discharge/charge cycles. It has great potential for use in transportation, in light and heavy vehicles alike. It can also work in electric power distribution networks," said the researcher.
Experiments - Products - Fundamentals - Reactions - Process
But turning experiments into commercially viable products involves understanding the fundamentals of the electrochemical reactions that occur in the process.
"It also requires the development of new materials that allow us to leverage desirable reactions and minimize or avoid undesirable ones," said Maciel, director of the New Energy Innovation Center (CINE). With units at UNICAMP, the Nuclear Energy Research Institute (IPEN) and the São Carlos Chemistry Institute at the University of São Paulo (USP), the center is supported by FAPESP and Shell under the scope of the Engineering Research Centers Program (ERC).
Phenomena - Operando - Words - Time - Idea
He went on to explain that some of the phenomena need to be observed in operando, or in other words, in real time. "The idea is to keep track of the reactions that occur in dynamic experiments and the...
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