Zinc Battery Dendrite Breakthrough

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
54,104
Everyone knows and loves our lithium ion batteries that power damn near every electronic device we use nowadays. However, LI batteries are dangerous, heavy, large, and expensive. If only there was a better way!

Not only could rechargeable zinc-based batteries possibly store as much energy as lithium-ion batteries, they could also be safer, cheaper, smaller and lighter, new research finds. The results suggest zinc batteries could find use in mild hybrids (microhybrids), electric vehicles, electric bicycles, and eventually, perhaps smartphones and power grid storage.

This article over at IEEE.Org is a good read on some of the science behind zinc-based batteries, but what is even more amazing is that they predict to be able to scale up this technology and have it ready to come to market by the end of 2019. Zinc batteries are nothing new, but having zinc batteries that can recharged many times are. You have to keep your Zinc dendrites from growing from anode to cathode causing an internal short, and that is exactly what the brainiacs at EnZinc have figured out how to suppress zinc dendrites. Guess they should have just looked up my 6th grade science fair experiment entitled, "Dendrite Suppression in Zinc Nickel Batteries." I did not think it was that big of a deal.

And remember, keep those LI batteries away from heat sources.
 

Chuklr

Gawd
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
787
If I live long enough it's going to be amazing at the changes I will have seen. :) Thanks for the link!
 

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
Is this the environmentalists' big breakthrough they were hoping for? Half of them think the sun shines 24 hours a day and we need to move everything to solar. Maybe if we had affordable batteries to store the energy we could. Could this be ramped up to accomplish that goal?
 

Reimu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
1,626
Is this the environmentalists' big breakthrough they were hoping for? Half of them think the sun shines 24 hours a day and we need to move everything to solar. Maybe if we had affordable batteries to store the energy we could. Could this be ramped up to accomplish that goal?

"They"? We all could use this. Exploding electronics is a very real threat.
 

Sonicks

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,401
Hopefully something comes along soon to replace the little explosives we carry around. Get those whiskers in check.

I've been so paranoid of batteries bursting into flames that I bring all my battery powered devices to work and charge them while I'm at my desk. No way I'm leaving that shit out of sight as they charge.
 

Burticus

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
4,793
What happened to the super capacitors that were supposed to change the world 10 years ago?
 

Gigus Fire

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
2,275
zinc air battery isn't new, but it's not rechargable. This is a newer form of using it i guess.
What makes lithium batteries popular is their capacity and ability to recharge without tons of memory issues (at least compared to NiCd).
Lithium ion is almost the same as Lithium polymer. The problem is the lithium that they use, which reacts with water and air. That's why piercing it or having the casing burst from heat or physical damage is a big problem.

Also super capacitors do exist and are used in some cases, but the big problem with them is the capacity. They can't hold as much as normal rechargeables, so their application is limited.
 

MrAhlefeld

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
73
LiFePO4 those dont burst into flames even when drilled trough. But those areal lithium iron phosphate.


But this is cool old new tech
I
 

NeghVar

2[H]4U
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
2,643
All bought up by the petroleum companies man! It's a conspiracy! Did you know they have a carburetor that gets over 100mpg? I heard it from this dude under an overpass in Atlanta that was setting fire to a target shopping cart!

As any industry will do to a new innovation that threatens the status quo. I for one believe the stories of corporate giants destroying innovators and innovations that threaten their profits.
 
D

Deleted member 184142

Guest
Wonder if they will go public? Looking around the patents are held by the Navy, who just granted exclusive rights to EnZinc last month.

The Navy was joint with the development and stated there are two types, Zinc-Nickle and Zinc-Silver based, the Navy stated that the silver based ones are a significant improvement (and is what they are interested in) over the nickle-zinc and lithium ion, but had no plans on releasing/licensing the tech, making me think it is a serious difference.
 

otherweeb

Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
860
Is this the environmentalists' big breakthrough they were hoping for? Half of them think the sun shines 24 hours a day and we need to move everything to solar. Maybe if we had affordable batteries to store the energy we could. Could this be ramped up to accomplish that goal?

uh, the sun does shine 24hrs a day. Did you think there's a giant off switch?
 

NeghVar

2[H]4U
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
2,643
031413-neuron.gif
 

travisty

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
815
Is this the environmentalists' big breakthrough they were hoping for? Half of them think the sun shines 24 hours a day and we need to move everything to solar. Maybe if we had affordable batteries to store the energy we could. Could this be ramped up to accomplish that goal?

Don't speak as if environmentalists are ignorant becuase it only makes you look ignorant. Large scale solar is reliant on a smarter grid with energy storage. Energy storage with current battery tech is not where it needs to be; batteries have too short a life with charge cycles. Batteries are not the only way to store energy though
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage
  • Compressed/Liquid Air
  • Flywheels
  • Hydrogen compressed/conversion
  • Hydroelectric (pump water uphill to store energy)
There's also power plants, like molten salt solar, which continue to produce energy even at night and prolonged cloudy days.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy


As for Zinc batteries, this is a good step. The breakthrough which will cause a huge revolution is ___-air batteries; be it Zinc-air, Lithium-air, etc. The lifetime of the batteries becomes near infinite (just replace the air to restore the life)
 

TAP

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
236
I've seen LIPO batteries completely destroy $600 RC cars.

What this video shows is if your charger malfunctions and overcharges the battery pack, look out.
 

Rev Lemmon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
268
*Yawn* Ya news of another battery tech that is going to change the world. Wake me up when I can actually buy the damn thing at Walmart.
 

nutzo

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
7,380
All bought up by the petroleum companies man! It's a conspiracy! Did you know they have a carburetor that gets over 100mpg? I heard it from this dude under an overpass in Atlanta that was setting fire to a target shopping cart!

Actually I have that carburetor in my garage, and yes it gets over 100 MPG.

It's attached to my 1980 Puch moped I bought when I was in college. Haven't started it up for at least 15 years, but since it's a 2 stroke, all I should need to do is take that carburetor apart and give it a good cleaning.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cobra
like this
D

Deleted member 243478

Guest
"Stores as much as Lithium-ion batteries" but "smaller and lighter"... so which one is it?

Do people realise that size is proportional to capacity?
 

nutzo

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
7,380
Don't speak as if environmentalists are ignorant because it only makes you look ignorant. Large scale solar is reliant on a smarter grid with energy storage.

And out here in California our grid is not so smart. They have too many solar panels in some areas and not enough in others, and the grid is not capable of transferring the power where it's needed. Instead they are simply burning off some of the power on sunny days (i.e. wasting it)
 

SvenBent

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
3,319
Is this the environmentalists' big breakthrough they were hoping for? Half of them think the sun shines 24 hours a day and we need to move everything to solar. Maybe if we had affordable batteries to store the energy we could. Could this be ramped up to accomplish that goal?

I don't know where you got you physics/astronomy from, but all my books clearly shows sun is actually shining 24hours a day 7 days a week 365/26 days a year and has done so for millions of years.
 

travisty

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
815
And out here in California our grid is not so smart. They have too many solar panels in some areas and not enough in others, and the grid is not capable of transferring the power where it's needed. Instead they are simply burning off some of the power on sunny days (i.e. wasting it)

It's a process. It's a political fireball at the federal level but at least in California there are plans for a smarter grid by 2020 - http://www.energy.ca.gov/2011publications/CEC-500-2011-034/CEC-500-2011-034.pdf

I don't know specifics for different areas, but some areas could be the electricity is there prior to the coming demand - if that area of Ca is underdeveloped (unlikely, i know). And with electric demand only growing at ~.7%/year - https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26672 - unless a large factory is being built there it's unlikely to get used until a smarter grid comes along.

It's hard to know without a source/location for your statement. This article, https://www.planetizen.com/node/92263/californias-solar-power-going-waste, mentions a solar array with politicians looking at options.

California's out in front of this, like many green initiatives, which is great. Will it always be perfect? No. Will there be growing pains? Yes (sorry Ca it'll cost you more but you save yourself and everyone else money in the future). Can this be corrected easily? Yes - storage (batteries, flywheels, hydraulics, compression, etc) or smart grid
 
Last edited:

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
uh, the sun does shine 24hrs a day. Did you think there's a giant off switch?

Where on Earth does it shine 24 hours a day? Does the Earth have a giant off switch to stop it from spinning?

Don't speak as if environmentalists are ignorant becuase it only makes you look ignorant.

Most of the environmentalists I know are very ignorant actually. And I never said "all". Most of the environmentalists I know have never been conservationists in their life yet, they are expert environmentalist internet warriors quoting news articles about how solar can save the world right now. Solar alone cannot save the world in terms of energy production. Not without affordable batteries or some affordable energy storage solution.
 

DeathFromBelow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
7,316
Is this the environmentalists' big breakthrough they were hoping for? Half of them think the sun shines 24 hours a day

Yeah. Don't they know Jesus turns off the sun every night?

Seriously though, you can use excess solar/wind power capacity to pump water into a reservoir and release the water to generate electricity as needed.

The reason we don't do this on a larger scale is purely cost. There's so much energy easily availible in coal and oil that people will keep using them as long as possible. Same thing with nuclear power, when you factor in the cost of the fuel chain and insurance fossil fuels are cheaper.

We could power our cars with clean-burning ammonia generated from air and water using solar power, but again, it's cheaper to just keep using gasoline than to build out that infrastructure.
 

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
I don't know where you got you physics/astronomy from, but all my books clearly shows sun is actually shining 24hours a day 7 days a week 365/26 days a year and has done so for millions of years.

Can you show me a book where it says the sun shines 24 hours a day on one spot on Earth please?
 

travisty

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
815
Most of the environmentalists I know are very ignorant actually. And I never said "all". Most of the environmentalists I know have never been conservationists in their life yet, they are expert environmentalist internet warriors quoting news articles about how solar can save the world right now. Solar alone cannot save the world in terms of energy production. Not without affordable batteries or some affordable energy storage solution.

... Solar can meet the world's need for power now. It's called a distributed generation - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_generation

Solar on most buildings would spread the generation over vast areas - even on cloudy days that doesn't mean ten miles away it's not sunny. Expand this to a nation-wide scale with a smarter grid and the sun will always be shining somewhere - in the day. At night energy can be stored in flywheels and compressed gas (these are cheaper options) or hydraulics (more expensive). In desert regions (sorry desert tortuous) have molten salt solar generators as well. Wind also can be used as there is more wind at night - https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-778384b2c514144be8167176df799ded-c

Is it cheap? If buying everything now, no (which doesnt happen). Over time in incremental steps it gets less expensive as solar/wind come into parity with coal/natural gas (which may have already happened at industrial scale https://c1cleantechnicacom-wpengine...nergy-costs-wind-energy-costs-LCOE-Lazard.png). Is it sustainable? Completely.

It also changes the power companies' role from power production to power-infrastructure maintenance. The power generation (on the micro-/distributed-scale) is owned either by the individuals or companies which sell the power to the customers after agreeing to use their roof or some other means. Some power companies would still own macro-scale solar instilation, wind farms, and molten salt solar plants
 
Last edited:

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
... Solar can meet the world's need for power now. It's called a distributed generation - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_generation

Solar on most buildings would spread the generation over vast areas - even on cloudy days that doesn't mean ten miles away it's not sunny. Expand this to a nation-wide scale with a smarter grid and the sun will always be shining somewhere - in the day. At night energy can be stored in flywheels and compressed gas (these are cheaper options) or hydraulics (more expensive). In desert regions (sorry desert tortuous) have molten salt solar generators as well. Wind also can be used as there is more wind at night - https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-778384b2c514144be8167176df799ded-c

Is it cheap? If buying everything now, no (which doesnt happen). Over time in incremental steps it gets less expensive as solar/wind come into parity with coal/natural gas (which may have already happened at industrial scale https://cleantechnica.com/2016/07/1...ng-gas-price-natural-gas-next-fossil-fuel-go/ (yes this is a bad source being green and all but too tired to find a better one right now)). Is it sustainable? Completely.

It also changes the power companies' role from power production to power-infrastructure maintenance. The power generation is owned either by the individuals or companies which sell the power to the customers after agreeing to use their roof or some other means.

So you agreeing that it can't save the world right now affordably... That's good that we can agree on that! :) I hope that one day we will get there. It just won't happen today.
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
The really interesting thing here is these batteries have REALLY good power density per kg and potentially should be cheaper than lithium based batteries.

Possibly even actually cheap depending on how well the emulsion scales up to mass production. Since its water based the late 2019 production date might actually be realistic.

For grid use these batteries might only be about as good as current lithium/lead batteries, which isn't all that great (need better re/dis charge endurance + much lower costs, see large scale vanadium flow batteries) but for cars they could be great.

Might finally be able to get a electric car with good range for a decent price in 2020!
 

travisty

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
815
So you agreeing that it can't save the world right now affordably... That's good that we can agree on that! :) I hope that one day we will get there. It just won't happen today.

Just know we're not talking decades for solar/wind to be cheaper than even natural gas. The cost of solar goes down about 5% a year. Actually large scale solar and wind is cheaper when producing electricity. It's the indeterminacy that decreases their usefulness until the backbone of the new power infrastructure it made, which is nearing if not at parity already.

https://www.lazard.com/media/438038/levelized-cost-of-energy-v100.pdf

solar-energy-costs-wind-energy-costs-LCOE-Lazard.png
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
So you agreeing that it can't save the world right now affordably...
Don't do the passive aggressive straw man crap. That isn't even close to what he has been saying. He is giving you good links and all too so you should at least try to respond in kind.

I hope that one day we will get there. It just won't happen today.
His chart lays it out for you nice n' easy but we're already there essentially as far as cost of energy production goes for renewables. And its still getting cheaper all the time even with existing tech. When new tech like perovskite (edit: spelling) solar cells start to take off over the next few years you'll see even bigger price drops for solar. As he notes the biggest issue with running everything off renewables like wind or solar is lack of consistency of supply. Better battery and transmission tech can fix that and it's getting very close to mass scale viability. So don't be so pessimistic.
 

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
Don't do the passive aggressive straw man crap. That isn't even close to what he has been saying. He is giving you good links and all too so you should at least try to respond in kind.


His chart lays it out for you nice n' easy but we're already there essentially as far as cost of energy production goes for renewables. And its still getting cheaper all the time even with existing tech. When new tech like perovskite (edit: spelling) solar cells start to take off over the next few years you'll see even bigger price drops for solar. As he notes the biggest issue with running everything off renewables like wind or solar is lack of consistency of supply. Better battery and transmission tech can fix that and it's getting very close to mass scale viability. So don't be so pessimistic.

Why do you think I'm being pessimistic? All I was saying is that it is not affordable today for the whole package. One day it will be. Hopefully soon, but it's not today.

I think the bigger short term solution would be energy efficiency. You can take $300 worth of aluminum and reduce your AC need at least 40%. Much cheaper than adding solar, coal or any kind of power generation to power that AC unit. That's the part the environmentalists don't seem to realize. It's mostly conservationists that understand that. The are other ways that work much better to reduce our power consumption rather than finding cheaper, cleaner ways to power our devices and heat/cool our homes.
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
All I was saying is that it is not affordable today for the whole package.
Affordability isn't the problem. Look at his chart or his links. Cost for energy production is fine.

The real problem right now is energy storage and transmission and both those issues are starting to go away. Its also not a cost problem for either of those issues BTW.

I think the bigger short term solution would be energy efficiency.
Electric motors are incredibly efficient. 90%+ is normal.

Much cheaper than adding solar, coal or any kind of power generation to power that AC unit.
Aluminum where and how? If you're talking about insulation or window coatings you're going to have to give some high quality links on that.

And these batteries that are under discussion are much lighter than the current ones for the same energy storage capacity. Over (edit: took time to convert kg to lbs) 260lbs in weight savings for the same energy capacity. Look at the link in the OP.

That's the part the environmentalists don't seem to realize. It's mostly conservationists that understand that. The are other ways that work much better to reduce our power consumption...
Strawman. Plenty of environmentalists look at ways to reduce energy consumption and not just ways to switch to renewables. Most environmentalists, and really most practical and sensible people since it can save money in the long run, are trying to do both at the same time.
 

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
Aluminum where and how? If you're talking about insulation or window coatings you're going to have to give some high quality links on that.

Go look for it yourself if you really care about it. I'm not going to do the work for you when I know it works. Radiant barriers. And 40% was probably the low end. And where? How about www.homedepot.com . If you're an environmentalist, you certainly didn't know about that.

Just to be clear, earlier I said "Most of the environmentalists I know are very ignorant actually" and was referring to that. Not most of the environmentalists you know. So please don't put words in my mouth and call me a strawman for that. That's just insulting.
 

mesyn191

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,983
I'm not going to do the work for you when I know it works.
Its common knowledge that if you say something you should back it up. And I know about radiant barriers. What I haven't heard of was some use for aluminum that could somehow reduce AC usage by 40%. (edit) It also costs considerably more than $300 to get a radiant barrier put in. Especially if the house isn't new construction. Heck depending on the roof size even the radiant barrier cost alone will be significantly more than $300, and I'm not talking about a mansion either.

And 40% is a outrageously high number for how much they can reduce AC usage. More technical information here. Realistically you're looking at something more like 15-25%, which is nice but nowhere near 40% and that 40% number is in no way the lower bound!!

If you're an environmentalist, you certainly didn't know about that.
Environmentalists know about radiant barriers. And stuff like High Thermal Mass construction, and exterior foundation insulation, and even stuff that is a little out there but still cool to look at like rocket mass heaters.

Just to be clear, earlier I said "Most of the environmentalists I know are very ignorant actually" and was referring to that.
In post #38, which was addressed to me, you sure didn't say that. You were talking about environmentalists period there.

"That's the part the environmentalists don't seem to realize. It's mostly conservationists that understand that."

You are clearly speaking broadly of both environmentalists and conservationists here. There was no mistyping at all on your part going on here either.

edit: \/\/\/\/\/\/\/ I'll trust a good link or 2 over your bill numbers thanks.
 
Last edited:

tec1500

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
68
Its common knowledge that if you say something you should back it up. And I know about radiant barriers. What I haven't heard of was some use for aluminum that could somehow reduce AC usage by 40%. (edit) It also costs considerably more than $300 to get a radiant barrier put in. Especially if the house isn't new construction. Heck depending on the roof size even the radiant barrier cost alone will be significantly more than $300, and I'm not talking about a mansion either.

And 40% is a outrageously high number for how much they can reduce AC usage. More technical information here. Realistically you're looking at something more like 15-25%, which is nice but nowhere near 40% and that 40% number is in no way the lower bound!!


Environmentalists know about radiant barriers. And stuff like High Thermal Mass construction, and exterior foundation insulation, and even stuff that is a little out there but still cool to look at like rocket mass heaters.


In post #38, which was addressed to me, you sure didn't say that. You were talking about environmentalists period there.

"That's the part the environmentalists don't seem to realize. It's mostly conservationists that understand that."

You are clearly speaking broadly of both environmentalists and conservationists here. There was no mistyping at all on your part going on here either.

I was going by the numbers on my actual electric bill for my AC when I installed it myself for about $300. I'm done arguing with you though. You can win. Have a nice night.
 
Top