The EV revolution is completely dependent upon Li-Ion batteries. This has forced researchers around the world to find an alternative.
Primary reasons for this scavenge include:
– Having an alternative when Lithium runs out;
– Improvement in the efficiency of existing batteries.
Aluminium-Air batteries are one such technology that has recently come into the limelight. This is mainly due to the efforts of a company called Indian Oil Corp.
It is worth noting that the Aluminium-Air battery is not a new technology. It was developed in the 1960s. However, it could not be produced commercially at the time.
Advantage of Aluminium-Air Batteries
Here are some of the advantages of the Aluminium-Air batteries over the Li-Ion batteries:
Cheaper To Manufacture
These batteries are cheaper for mass production. The reason is that the global cost of Aluminium is almost 7 times lesser than that of Li.
Can Be Manufactured In Lithium Scarce Areas
The Aluminium-Air batteries can be manufactured in areas where Lithium is scarce. One such example is India.
Light Weight Than Li-Ion Batteries
These batteries are much lighter than the Li-Ion batteries. This is because they don’t need to carry the Cathode.
The Cathode for such batteries is the natural air, which is abundantly found everywhere.
High Energy Density
The Aluminium-Air batteries have an extremely high energy density of 8kwh/kg. In comparison to this, the Li-Ion batteries have a charge density of 1 to 1.5 kWh/kg.
According to researchers, a Tesla Model S presently has a range of around 690 kilometers. The range of the same vehicle can be enhanced to over 4350 kilometers by using Aluminium-Air batteries.
The Li-Ion batteries are exceptionally inflammable. That is why they are very risky.
The Aluminium-Air batteries on the other hand are much safer because they don’t store electric charges.
Better For The Environment
A major dilemma of the Li-Ion batteries is their disposal into the environment. These batteries have extremely harmful effects as most of their components are not recyclable.
The Aluminium-Air batteries are much better as the Aluminium used in them can be recycled.
This makes the Aluminium-Air batteries more environmentally friendly.
How Do Aluminium-Air Batteries Work?
The Aluminium-Air batteries have a completely different working principle than other batteries.
In conventional batteries, both cathode and anode need to be present within a sealed container.
However, in the Aluminium-Air batteries, a slab of Aluminium acts as the Anode. The natural air acts as the cathode.
The oxygen from the air reacts with the Aluminium slab. The whole process is accelerated by a catalyst.
As a result, the charge flow generates a current. The current does not need to be stored as natural air is abundantly available.
However, when the complete Anode has reacted it needs to be replaced.
Swapping Aluminium-Air Batteries
A major disadvantage of the Aluminium-Air batteries over the Li-Ion batteries is that they can’t be charged.