In an effort to develop an eco-friendly battery, researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) have created a battery that can store and produce electricity by using seawater.
The research is expected to dramatically improve cost and stability issues over the next five years, with researchers confident about commercialization.
The driving force behind the battery is the sodium found in seawater. Because sodium is so abundant, the researchers believe that this new system will be an attractive supplement to existing battery technologies. Because the seawater battery is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than lithium-ion batteries, the team says the seawater battery could provide an alternative option in large-scale energy storage.
This from UNIST:
Seawater batteries are similar to their lithium-ion cousins since they store energy in the same way. The battery extracts sodium ions from the seawater when it is charged with electrical energy and stores them within the cathode compartment. Upon electrochemical discharge, sodium is released from the anode and reacts with water and oxygen from the seawater cathode to form sodium hydroxide. This process provide energy to power, for instance, an electric vehicle.