Fast charging organic proton battery operates at sub-zero temperatures

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have developed an all-organic proton battery that can be charged in a matter of seconds.

The battery can be charged and discharged over 500 times without any significant loss of capacity alongside a solar cell. Charging can also be accomplished without the aid of the advanced electronics that, for example, lithium batteries require. Another advantage of the battery is that it is unaffected by ambient temperature and reaches the full capacity of 60 mAh g−1 within 100 seconds.

“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,” said Christian Strietzel of Uppsala University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Our research has therefore been to develop a battery built from elements commonly found in nature and that can be used to create organic battery materials.”

The research team used quinones as the active material in their battery. These organic carbon compounds have the ability to absorb or emit hydrogen ions which only contain protons during charging and discharging.

An acidic aqueous solution has been used as an electrolyte, the vital component that transports ions inside the battery. As well as being environmentally friendly, this also provides a safe battery free from the hazard of explosion or fire.

“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,” said Strietzel.

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