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Power Science Technology

Wood Nanobattery Could Be Green Option For Large-Scale Energy Storage 120

cylonlover writes "Li-ion batteries may be ok for your smartphone, but when it comes to large-scale energy storage, the priorities suddenly shift from compactness and cycling performance (at which Li-ion batteries excel) to low cost and environmental feasibility (in which Li-ion batteries still have much room for improvement). A new 'wood battery' could allow the emerging sodium-ion battery technology to fit the bill as a long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery for large-scale energy storage."
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Wood Nanobattery Could Be Green Option For Large-Scale Energy Storage

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  • Wood use is minimal. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @02:31PM (#44217787)

    The use of wood is minimal and is only used as a flexible inner core for what is primarily a carbon nanotube anode. The majority of the battery is still inorganic materials.

    (But, hey, one can't expect the first post to have actually read the fine article.)

  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @03:39PM (#44218421) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium-ion_battery [wikipedia.org]

    I'm wondering how useful this technology would be for large-scale energy storage. Say you have a wind farm, and you want to grab all the power when the wind is blowing, and store it for later.

    400 charge/discharge cycles seems like each battery might last a year. Then the battery is swapped out for a new one. How expensive is that part?

    How much will it cost to take a wood battery and recover the sodium and tin? Would it be cheaper to dispose of the sodium and just build a new battery? How do you dispose of sodium anyway... mix it with chlorine to make salt, or just dump it in the ocean, or bury it, or what?

    Hmm. I did a Google search on "refine sodium" and it looks as if, much like aluminum, you use an electric process to purify sodium. If so, then refining sodium can be viewed as another way to use excess power. Perhaps it would make sense to have a facility to recycle old sodium ion batteries co-located with a major wind farm or other large-scale variable power source?

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080514052937AAu27e4 [yahoo.com]

    And how does this compare with other well-understood technologies for energy storage? For example: using excess power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

    P.S. Another article:

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/a-battery-made-of-wood-long-lasting-efficient-environmentally-friendly [kurzweilai.net]

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