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The researchers working at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) have created a new rechargeable battery. This new battery uses iron ion instead of lithium. The lithium-ion batteries are one of the most used batteries around the world and it has taken over the Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad). As per a post on the website of IIT-M, the new technology uses an anode made out of low carbon steel. It also uses a cathode built with vanadium pentoxide, and iron chlorate as the electrolyte.
Rechargeable Iron Ion Batteries
According to the team of researchers working at IIT-M, the newly developed batteries will be a lot cheaper than the current lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, it will also be more stable and safer due to the fact that iron does not produce dendrites. Thus it prevents short circuits while discharging. So using an iron ion battery over a regular lithium-ion battery will be a safer option during flights. The researchers also said that these new batteries will be able to hold a slightly higher capacity than the current generation batteries.
The team consists of researchers such as Dr. S.Ramaprabhu, Ms. Ajay Piriya V.S., and Ms. Sai Smruti Samantaray. They all are part of the institute’s Physics department. They further claimed that using iron ion batteries will help in other ways due to it’s favorable physical and chemical properties. The team said,
Compared to other metals, iron is cheaper, has a smaller ionic radius and favorable redox potential. Since these benefits are overlooked, the potential use of iron in rechargeable metal-ion battery has not been realized yet
However, the iron ion batteries are not perfect. These batteries have some issues which might stop them from replacing the lithium-ion batteries in the near future. The biggest issue is that these types of batteries can last only till 150 charges and discharges. Lithium-ion batteries can last a lot more cycles. Moreover, there are other problems like energy density. The iron ion batteries are currently able to reach only around 220 Wh/kilo which is way less than 350 Wh/kilo energy density of lithium-ion batteries.
Image Courtesy: IIT-M