Why liquid metal batteries will soon be even cheaper

A new discovery has shown common calcium can be used in liquid metal batteries, offering a less expensive alternative to typical lithium-ion batteries.

““If you want to make it dirt-cheap, make it out of dirt and preferably dirt from your own backyard, because then you know you have a secure supply chain,” Professor Sadoway told The Christian Science Monitor in August.
In many ways, the calcium discovery fits the “dirt from your own backyard” goal.

The team has demonstrated that calcium, which is both readily available and inexpensive, can form two parts of the three-layer liquid metal batteries: the negative electrode layer and the molten sand that separates the layers.”
“Calcium has a melting point of 900 degrees Celsius, which is incompatible with batteries. Also, calcium typically easily dissolves in salt, and keeping the three layers of the battery separate was one of the keys to the design.

Both problems were solved with magnesium, another ubiquitous metal. Alloying the calcium with magnesium lowered the melting point, and a new salt composition was less reactive to the calcium-magnesium alloy.

As a serendipitous bonus, calcium and magnesium are regularly found together, so well bonded that they require expensive processing to separate their ores.”

The good thing about liquid metal batteries is that you don’t need to be concerned about the heat from the led damaging the battery, the bad thing is that you need to get new trousers and a new hand capable of handling the battery at hundreds of degrees.

Has April fool’s day arrived early?

can't understand it

Archie I think they don’t understand it either, molten sand liquid in a battery :wink:

Yeah, don’t look for this technology in your flashlights any time soon! :laughing:

I doubt that this technology is intended for personal carry applications; more likely would be useful for large scale household storage.

I was thinking more large scale - industrial complex.

I would think for very, very large cells. The larger the cell the smaller the surface area to volume ratio. Easier to keep the molten sand hot

BTW, our Sun which is enormous, has a tiny surface to volume ratio. That’s why the surface temperature is so high. The core of the Sun, where the nuclear fusion rate is highest, only generates about 276 Watts per cubic meter. That’s about the same energy density as a compost pile.
So much volume producing energy and so little, relatively, surface area to emit it.

I really like the idea of having the ability to store large amounts of excess power for future use; goes along with my idea of a decentralized grid system which would be more robust to any potential external attacks

I have to lol!