At the Interpore 2017 meeting, we presented novel membraneless batteries based on two immiscible protic solvents (ethanol or methanol and saltwater). These batteries were also capable of producing hydrogen on demand, and hence allowed one to construct a system that both generated the power to compress hydrogen and simultaneously produce the hydrogen to be compressed.
Recently, several counter intuitive results from experiments related to the two-phase system led us to develop a totally new type of battery. This next generation battery involves a catholyte with a current collector and an anode imbedded in the catholyte with no membrane to separate them. A single cell generates around 2 volts and 1 watt at the batteries internal resistance. Based on the reactants, this battery has an energy density of about 135Whr/kg. Like its predecessor, this battery can also produce hydrogen on demand. If one accounts for the energy associated with hydrogen gas production, then the energy density exceeds 170Whr/kg. At the anode there is an oxidation reaction followed by proton reduction, resulting in hydrogen gas production. At the cathode current collector there is a separate reduction reaction. The question that should come to mind is, if there is oxidation-reduction at the anode, where do the electrons come from to create the reduction at the cathode current collector? We propose a novel theory to answer this question: There is an oxidation state instability at the anode, which to energetically stabilize itself, requires the release through the load of additional electrons. We will present videos to demonstrate the system and its workings.
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