Scientists at the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed a long-lasting zinc-ion battery which they say would support the further growth of renewable energy use.
The battery was built using non-flammable and non-toxic materials and a water-based salt. It offers more than 1,000 cycles with 80% capacity retention and an estimated energy density of 450 Wh per litre.
“The cell represents the first demonstration of zinc ion intercalation in a solid state material that satisfies four vital criteria: high reversibility, rate and capacity and no zinc dendrite formation.”
The zinc-ion battery consists of a water-based electrolyte, a pillared vanadium oxide positive electrode and an inexpensive metallic zinc negative electrode. Like lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, the zinc-ion battery operates by intercalation. The team at the Faculty of Science at Waterloo says their battery is safer and also cheaper to make because manufacturers do not need to ensure special conditions, such as the ultra-low humidity or the handling of flammable materials needed for Li-ion batteries.
The energy storage global market is to reach USD 25 billion (EUR 22.3bn) in 10 years, according to forecasts cited by the Waterloo chemists.