Harvard creates renewable battery that can last for 10 yrs

Researchers from Harvard have developed a new flow battery that can last for more than 10 years and is made of non-toxic organic molecules that are dissolved in neutral pH water. Flow batteries store energy in liquid solutions housed in external tanks. Bigger tanks are capable of storing more energy. Scientists have been promoting the concept of flow battery because it has the advantage of a long cycle life, flexible layout, quick response times and no harmful emissions. Currently available batteries are hampered by their limited capacity and life span. A lithium-ion pack, for instance, could become useless with just a few years of heavy use, which could be a problem for devices that depend on these batteries for power. The problem is worse for energy storage systems that require long-term use. The new battery could offer a solution to these challenges.
Researchers developed the battery by modifying the molecules that are used in positive and negative electrolyte solutions so they become stable, resistant to degradation, and water-soluble. When these are dissolved in neutral pH water, the resulting solution loses only 1 per cent of its capacity every 1,000 cycles, which means that it would take several years before a slight drop off in performance becomes apparent.
Because the battery is not corrosive or toxic, there is also no worry about the potential dangers posed by battery leaks. Elements found in batteries today can damage the skin and cause health problems with contact. Battery leaks can also damage the home and the environment.
“Because we were able to dissolve the electrolytes in neutral water, this is a long-lasting battery that you could put in your basement,” said study researcher Roy Gordon from the Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.