An electrically rechargeable battery that contains no hazardous substances, can be fully recycled and is inexpensive… This ground-breaking innovation developed by the researchers at EDF’s R&D division could revolutionise our relationship with electric vehicles and energy storage.
Made from zinc, water and carbon, the Metal-Air battery uses the oxygen present in air to generate electricity and water. During charging, it emits only oxygen into the atmosphere.
In terms of performance, it produces as much energy as a lithium-ion battery, but at much lower cost. Lightweight, smaller, lower-priced (between 5 and 10 times less expensive than lithium-ion technology) and more eco-friendly, it won two 2014 R&D Awards.
Battery safety is a priority challenge, whether in terms of passive safety (preventing an electric vehicle accident) or active safety (thermal runaway risks that could result in fire or explosion). The Metal-Air battery is intrinsically safe. Containing no organic products or fuel, there is no danger of thermal runaway or the spread of fire. EDF researchers have overcome many challenges to transform an existing technology (the zinc-air non-rechargeable battery) into a rechargeable battery that will undoubtedly give new impetus to the rollout of electric vehicles. It also opens up new markets, such as storage solutions for individual homes and large electrical systems.
times cheaper than Li-ion batteries
full charge/discharge cycles tested using laboratory prototypes