Zinc-Ion Battery Could Challenge Traditional Power

Sept. 22, 2016

Worldwide demand for sustainable energy may have found the perfect battery. 

A long-lasting zinc-ion battery costing half the price of a current lithium-ion battery was developed by chemists at the University of Waterloo.

Professor Linda Nazar and her colleagues from the Faculty of Science at Waterloo made the key discovery and hope to use their findings to help communities veer away from traditional power plants and gravitate toward renewable energy sources in solar and wind energy.

“The worldwide demand for sustainable energy has triggered a search for a reliable, low-cost way to store it,” says Nazar, a Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials and a University Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry. “The aqueous zinc-ion battery we’ve developed is ideal for this type of application because it’s relatively inexpensive and it’s inherently safe.”

The battery produces electricity through a reversible process called intercalation, where positively charged zinc ions are oxidized from the zinc metal negative electrode, travel through the electrolyte and insert between the layers of vanadium oxide nanosheets in the positive electrode. This steers the flow of electrons in the external circuit, creating an electrical current. The reverse process occurs on charge.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...