Dr. Dong Jun Kim carried out a research on rechargeable aluminium-ion batteries, along with a team. These batteries are expected to become the future of renewable energy storage. This study published in Nature Energy journal and researched at the Northwestern University in Illinois. Apart from Dr. Kim who is now in School of Chemistry in UNSW, Nobel Laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart was also a part of this research. Stoddart demonstrated a strategy for designing active material for rechargeable aluminium batteries.
New Approach helped in Overcoming Shortcomings seen in Previous Research
Until today, to find appropriate host electrodes for insertion of complex aluminium ions was a challenge. Researchers in this team managed to use a large organic chemical compound in the battery that can actually store energy. This is a crucial component missed by previous researchers. Researchers developed a new way to design rechargeable aluminium batteries by using an active material compound named redox-active macrocyclic.
Dr. Kim added by saying that this research will provide a new approach to design aluminium-ion batteries. This will draw the attention of scientists to investigate in next-gen electrochemical energy storage. The biggest achievement of this research is that until now lithium-ion batteries successfully powered mobile electronics devices. Whereas renewable energy applications suffered from limited cycle life, high cost, and safety concerns.
Aluminium-ion batteries are the most appropriate contender for renewable energy applications. The material is present in abundance. It has multiple redox states leading to high volumetric capacities.
However, aluminium batteries are still in its nascent stage that leaves a huge scope for development. Researchers are still making efforts in examining the potential of using other elements as well.