Purdue spinout looks to commercialise flow batteries for electric cars: Page 2 of 2

February 25, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Purdue spinout looks to commercialise flow batteries for electric cars
A professor from Purdue University in the US is looking to commercialise a membrane-free flow battery technology for electric cars, competing with European startups.
Israel is working with Dutch company Eleqtec to launch Electriq~Global’s water-based fuel technology in the Netherlands. Together they plan to launch Electriq~Fuel’s recycling plants and introduce applications for trucks, barges and mobile generators. Comprised of 60% water, Electriq~Fuel has an energy density potential up to 15 times that of electric batteries currently in use in electric vehicles, tackling one of the major challenges.

“Historically, flow batteries have not been competitive because of the low energy density,” said Cushman at Purdue. “For example, conventional flow batteries have an energy density of about 20Wh/kg [while] a lithium-ion battery runs on 250 Wh/kg. Our flow battery has the potential to run between three and five times that amount.”

THe difference for the Purdue technology is that it does not need a membrane or separator that can get clogged. The single-fluid technology oxidizes the anode to produce electrons, and through a reduction at the cathode, it generates the current of energy to power vehicles.  The oxidant is a macro-molecule that lives in the electrolyte, but is reduced only at the cathode. The spent battery fluids or electrolytes can be collected and taken to a solar farm, wind turbine installation or hydroelectric plant for recharging.

“We are at the point now where we can generate a lot of power. More power than you would ever guess could come out of a battery like this,” said Cushman. “It is the full circle of energy with very little waste. IFBattery’s components are safe enough to be stored in a family home, are stable enough to meet major production and distribution requirements and are cost-effective.”

IFBattery licensed part of the technology through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and has developed patents of its own.


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