The effective way to use carbon as a source of proton battery
World energy is in dire need of a revolutionary energy storage, which will replace obsolete in all parameters, but so far non-alternative for mass use of lithium-ion batteries. Another candidate for this role, through the efforts of scientists from Melbourne, has become the so-called “proton batteries”, a combination of a fuel cell and a chemical battery.
The construction is based on electrodes made from modified carbon, for example, graphene with its high absorbency. Plus, the cell membrane, which allows the separation of ordinary water into oxygen and hydrogen, whose ions are immediately absorbed by carbon electrodes. This is the process of charging, and when discharging ions are released – electrons form an electric current and give off energy, protons combine with other electrons from the environment and oxygen, turning into water.
We can say that the main “working substance” in this case is just the protons of hydrogen, but this is not the main thing. In the charge-discharge process, unlike fuel cells, there is no explosive hydrogen gas. And there are no energy losses associated with the change in the aggregate state of the substance, so the efficiency of such a design is comparable to lithium-ion batteries.
And what is the advantage of proton batteries in front of lithium-ion batteries? Carbon is cheaper, and in a modified form it is much more reliable and more convenient to handle than lithium. The prototype of the 1.2 V battery has successfully passed the tests, now scientists are solving the problem of scaling their development. In the future, it can compete with all existing battery samples.