Ohio State’s Solar-Air Potassium Battery

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Ohio State University researchers have come up with a two-in-one solar cell/battery combination that promises great efficiency and low costs.  What’s not to like? Unfortunately for readers of the blog, it’s initially only a stationary system that will make energy storage a viable circumstance for large power plants, but it seems that the technology could be adapted to lighter, portable applications, such as electric vehicles. Ohio State is keeping somewhat mum about the patent-pending device, which they are developing as a commercial entity under the auspices of their spin-off, Kair (K for potassium, plus air and pronounced “care”).  We’ve heard a great deal about upcoming lithium-air batteries, but potassium-air is unique.  Even more unique, this battery stores energy from its …

Rust and Sunshine Do Mix

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chemists at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, “Have achieved a series of breakthroughs in their efforts to develop an economical means of harnessing artificial photosynthesis by narrowing the voltage gap between the two crucial processes of oxidation and reduction, according to their paper, “Hematite-Based Water Splitting with Low Turn-on Voltage,” published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie.” With your editor wishing he’d paid more attention in high-school chemistry, a quick search came up with simple definitions of oxidation and reduction. Oxidation is gain of oxygen. Reduction is loss of oxygen. When reduction and oxidation take place simultaneously, this is known as a redox reaction. These types of reactions take place in leaves producing plant energy from sunlight, and researchers are closing in …