10 fold increase in Iron-Air Battery efficiency promises cheap energy storage solution

A team from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences have developed an air-breathing battery that uses the chemical energy generated by the oxidation of iron plates that are exposed to the oxygen in the air to store between eight and 24 hours worth of electricity. The technology floundered after an initial interest during the 70s due to 50% energy loss through electrolysis reactions. Sri Narayan and his associates have reduced these losses to 4% by adding a very small amount of bismuth sulfide to the battery’s electrolyte, and potentially opening the door to a cheap means of energy storage. Here’s an instructive diagram.

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