Solar Energy for the clear sunny days, Wind Energy for the windy ones, but what do we do on Rainy days? Well batteries have to come in the picture. Iron and Air are both available in abundance and are being used to develop batteries for a long time. The oxidation of iron produces chemical energy that is used to make eco-friendly batteries, but sadly, they suffer from a problem of inefficiency because of hydrolysis (i.e. hydrogen generation due to chemical reaction) that consumes half of the battery’s energy. Addressing the issue at hand, Dr. Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at University of Southern California (USC), and his team has developed batteries that bring this energy loss down to mere 4 percent.
Dr. Narayan from the Lab at the University of Southern California
The solution was to remove hydrogen generation by adding very small amount of 'bismuth sulfide' into the battery, which in turn led to the increase in efficiency by 10 times over the previous batteries. The team, which has contributors from USC and Andrew Kindler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, is now working on storing more energy in the batteries using using lesser material. They are backed for research funds by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, an arm of the US Department of Energy. We look forward to the upcoming revelations.