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[Ars] Researchers use the ocean to recharge their batteries

post #1 of 3
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http://arstechnica.com/science/news/...-batteries.ars

Quote:
The device has electrodes that specifically react with some of the salt ions normally found in sea water. One is made of manganese dioxide, which can react with a sodium ion to form Na2Mn5O10. The material also happens to be cheap, environmentally benign, and has a high energy density. The authors weren't so careful when they chose the other electrode, as they used silver, which can react with chlorine. Thus, the two electrodes in the device can sequester the ions that form when sodium chloride—common salt—dissolves in water.

This allows for a simple cycle. When salt water flows over the electrodes, they capture the ions, producing a charged battery. When the salt water is replaced by freshwater, the cycle can be reversed, but in order to do so, electrons have to flow between the two electrodes, creating a usable current. The authors call their device a "mixing entropy battery," and show some examples that perform at about 75 percent of the theoretical efficiency, with no decline over 100 cycles. They also show that it works perfectly well with environmental samples.
I'm looking forward to this.
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post #2 of 3
Now that's some fantastic stuff. Battery technology always interests me, because I think that batteries are what hold us back from all sorts of things. When you consider the power consumption of most of our devices, and then look at the physical size and overall capacity of our batteries, they're really inefficient. At least this provides a super-easy recharge! Electric-powered cruise ship, anyone?
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
If we implement these in cars, I guess they'll have to have underwater channels for seawater at charging stations and houses. I hope nothing collapses over the water .
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