Is This the Plop, Plop Fizz, Fizz of Energy?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Back in the early reaches of television advertising, one jingle was credited with nearly doubling sales of Alka-Seltzer, a popular over-the-counter remedy for acid indigestion.  “Plop, plop; fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is,” became a defacto instruction on how to use the pill, implying two were needed.  Alka-Seltzer’s users got the idea and sales went up appreciably, reinforced by new instructions on the packaging. The sparkly image of the “cure” brings to mind a current effort by State University of New York at Buffalo researchers to drop nano-sized particles of silicon in water, with resulting bubbles of hydrogen escaping in large enough quantities to power portable devices. They have, “Created spherical silicon particles about 10 nanometers in diameter. …

That’s No Yolk!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Dr. Cui is at it again!  In a seemingly endless stream of announcements, his work with silicon anodes keeps promising improvements in battery capacity and longevity.  The Stanford professor and his team, Stanford’s National Accelerator Laboratory (Formerly the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory all published papers on their latest joint accomplishment. Conceptual drawing of silicon filling carbon shell, TEM photo of actual expansion, and life cycle analysis for yolk-shell batteries Expansion and contraction of anodes and cathodes during charging and discharging of batteries causes flexing and eventual breakdown of a battery’s internal components.  Cui and other researchers have tried various strategies to mitigate or eliminate this flexing, but the …