How would it be if a 20-storey building could work for the entire structure to store energy like a giant battery? This vision could someday be reality thanks to research carried out by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. An article published by the Department of architecture and Civil Engineering outlines a new concept of rechargeable batteries manufactured from cement.
In fact, the ever-growing need for sustainable building materials pose tremendous challenges for researchers. Several years ago, a research group undertook the search for sustainable building materials of the future. From there, the research group has now developed the world’s first concept of cement-based rechargeable battery.
Elaborately, to create this, researchers used a cement-based mix with small amounts of short carbon fiber that are added to increase the flexural toughness and conductivity of the end product. Within the mixture, a metal-coated carbon fiber mesh is embedded wherein nickel is for cathode and iron for anode. The researchers now present the prototype after much experimentation.
Meanwhile, earlier studies to investigate concrete battery technology showed very low performance. This made researchers to come up with another way to produce the electrode. Interestingly, this particular idea that researchers developed, is rechargeable too, earlier has never been explored.
“The proof of concept of the development is at lab scale,” explains the lead researcher.
Importantly, the combined work of the researchers has led to the development of a rechargeable cement-based battery. This average energy density of 7 this battery is watt hours per square meter. Precisely, the energy density indicates the capacity of the battery, and a modest estimation suggests the new Chalmers battery could be 10 times more efficient this type of predecessor ones.