New organic compounds can improve battery energy storage systems

01 September 2023 18:52


Holland - New organic compounds could improve batteries that store renewable energy, cutting down on greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Researchers at Jolt Energy Storage Technologies and Michigan State University have discovered how to make energy-denser fuel cells using these compounds.

Jolt Energy Storage Technologies and researchers at Michigan State University have designed new organic compounds that can store more energy in redox flow batteries, or chemical fuel cells.

Publishing their findings in a paper entitled “C–H···π interactions disrupt electrostatic interactions between non-aqueous electrolytes to increase solubility” in the August edition of Nature Chemistry, the paper’s authors claim that their work could help create energy storage for electric vehicles and other devices that use fewer rare materials.

Grid-scale battery energy storage systems, BESSs, are highly dependent on lithium-ion and redox flow batteries that require metals like lithium and vanadium that are mined in developing countries with poor labor practices and corrupt governments, causing social and environmental damage.

“We’re getting closer to an environmentally sustainable, domestically produced material that would lower the price of storage enough to enable a more secure power grid,” said Jolt Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Thomas Guarr in an August 29 press release.

Jack Johnson, another Jolt co-founder who now heads business development, said the new technology would revolutionize batteries in the same way that organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, have revolutionized light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

“The materials we are creating have the potential to make large-scale energy storage economically sustainable enough to make renewable energy sources truly competitive against traditional energy generation,” said Johnson.

Based in Holland, Michigan in the United States, Jolt has received funding and other support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the department’s GCxN program in partnership with Shell Global. ce/jd

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