Sustainable energy storage is a hot topic recently and scientists around the world are working to develop better mechanisms to store sustainable energy. New research published in the journal Angewandte Chemie highlights work from researchers at Uppsala University surrounding the development of an all-organic proton battery that can be charged within seconds. The battery, which can be charged and discharged over 500 times without any significant loss of capacity, can be used in ambient temperatures and charged using a solar cell.
"I'm sure that many people are aware that the performance of standard batteries declines at low temperatures. We have demonstrated that this organic proton battery retains properties such as capacity down to as low as -24°C," says Christian Strietzel of Uppsala University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Another advantage of this all-organic proton battery is that, unlike lithium batteries, it does not need to be supplemented by advanced electronics. Furthermore, it does not require the mining of metals and therefore has fewer adverse environmental impacts. Instead, the active material in the all-organic proton battery is quinones, which are naturally-occurring organic carbon compounds that absorb or emit hydrogen ions.
"The point of departure for our research has been to develop a battery built from elements commonly found in nature and that can be used to create organic battery materials," explains Christian Strietzel.
In addition to being more environmentally-conscious, the battery also avoids the risk of explosion or fire. The researchers hope that it won’t be too long before it provides an alternative to conventional lithium batteries.
"There remains a great deal of further development to be done on the battery before it becomes a household item; however, the proton battery we have developed is a large stride towards being able to manufacture sustainable organic batteries in future," says Christian Strietzel.