Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, found a new possibility to make battery production less expensive. The researchers Ruben-Simon Kühnel and David Reber combined water with the salt sodium FSI (sodium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide) in order to produce a stable saline solution.
As the researchers found out, the solution displays a high electrochemical stability of up to 2.6 volt, which is twice as much as other aqueous electrolytes. All water molecules are grouped around the positively charged sodium cations in a hydrate shell, so that there are no unbound water molecules. Although the salt containing electrolyte is poorly suited for an application in electrical cars, it can be integrated in stationary electricity applications.
The system already withstood a series of charging and discharging cycles in the laboratory, but anodes and cathodes have only been tested separately, against a standard electrode as a partner. The researcher’s next step will be to combine two half cells into a single battery, in order to create a functional and safe salt water battery.
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