New Hydronium-ion Battery Presents Opportunity for Sustainable Grid-scale Storage

Oregon State University on Monday said its scientists have developed a new type of battery that uses only hydronium ions as the charge carrier.

According to Oregon State, the battery provides new options for research of batteries for use in a permanent location to store grid power, including power generated from wind and solar systems.

Researchers in the Oregon State College of Science have demonstrated that hydronium ions can be reversibly stored in an electrode material consisting of perylenetetracarboxylic dianhydridem, or PTCDA. The battery, created in the Department of Chemistry at Oregon State, uses dilute sulfuric acid as the electrolyte.

Graduate student Xingfeng Wang was the first author on the study, which has been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, a publication of the German Chemical Society.

“This may provide a paradigm-shifting opportunity for more sustainable batteries,” Xiulei Ji, assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State and the corresponding author on the research, said in a statement. “It doesn’t use lithium or sodium or potassium to carry the charge, and just uses acid as the electrolyte. There’s a huge natural abundance of acid, so it’s highly renewable and sustainable.”

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