Stanford scientists have developed a manganese hydrogen battery that is water based. There are many scientist working on a lower cost replacement for the current battery technology. The scientific community is working to deliver a way to store electricity that is economical and safe. As our society is growing more energy reliant.
Energy from traditional sources is reaching a tipping point. Most of our energy is generated by non renewable source like coal or natural gas. Other energy comes from nuclear plants which have been plagued by flaws that are very detrimental to the environment. There is a push to produce reliable energy from renewable sources.
As new technology discovers ways to produce the energy, there must also be improved ways to store the energy. A limitation of energy is that once it is generated it must be stored for future use. If it is not able to be stored, it will just dissipate and be wasted.
Batteries are a good method to store energy but today’s batteries are not ideal storage vessels. They are expensive and they can only be recharged a limited number of times before they will no longer hold a charge and must be replaced. The material used in some batteries is in short supply like lithium.
The battery developed by Stanford scientist uses manganese which is the 12th most abundant of the elements found in the Earth’s crust. The battery operates by using a reversible electron exchange between water and manganese sulfate. Once the electrons meet the manganese sulfate it will dissolve in the water leaving manganese dioxide on the electrode and hydrogen gas will be given off. The hydrogen gas is used to generate electricity. Once the electrode is depleted of the manganese sulfate, the battery can be recharged by reversing the electron flow. This will cause the manganese dioxide to combine with the water and change back into manganese sulfate.