University Claims “Refillable” EV Batteries

University Claims “Refillable” EV Batteries

Academics are claiming to have developed batteries that can power electric vehicles by having their fluid replaced every 300 miles.

Researchers at Indiana’s Purdue University say they have developed a flow battery that could power an EV for 3,000 miles if the driver stops every 300 miles to change its “water-based single fluid” at a petrol station. After 3,000 miles, the battery’s anode material needs replacing.

A university statement claims the fluid works without a separator or membrane. Its oxidant is a macro-molecule within the electrolyte. The oxidization produces electrons and a reduction at the cathode generates the electricity needed to power the car. However, the battery has not yet been tested on cars but on scooters and golf carts.

Purdue University mathematics professor John Cushman claims the flow battery “is easier and safer to use and is more environmentally friendly than” a lithium-ion battery and could offer three to five times its energy density. Mechanical engineering professor Eric Nauman said: “Our flow battery uses a water-based single fluid that can run the car like it is a gas engine except it is not burning anything – it’s like a hybrid of a battery and a gas.”

Co-researcher Michael Dziekan added: “The battery does two things: it produces electricity and it produces hydrogen. That is important because most hydrogen-powered cars run on a 5,000 or 10,000 pounds per square inch [PSI] tank, which can be dangerous. This system generates hydrogen as you need it, so you can safely store hydrogen at pressures of 20 or 30 PSI instead of 10,000.”

The researchers claim the spent fluid can be collected and recharged at a solar farm, hydroelectric plant, or wind turbine installation. They have spun out a company, IFBattery, to monetize the tech and plan to present it at scientific organization InterPore’s annual meeting in May.



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