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Thread: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

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    Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Potassium is 880 times more abundant, in the earth's crust, than lithium.
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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    For anyone interested, because it took two seconds to find the link to the paper but it wasn't posted here, here's the JACS page for it.

    pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.5b06809

    I don't have access to the paper (yet), but the gist of it is that the intercalation of potassium into graphitic sheets has been achieved through synthesis of soft carbon electrodes. Or at least the diagram suggests graphitic, but the paper specifies that these soft carbon structures are non-graphitic. The abstract doesn't exactly say how those soft carbon structures are formed, or how they are characterized, which will be the absolute most important aspect when it comes to cycling and energy density, as well as scale up and commercialization. So it sounds as if the research team is hiding the interesting stuff behind a wall and leading with a click-batey title to get interest. Also the fact that OSU points out Potassium is 880 times more abundant is pretty useless, we're not running out of lithium soon and on the whole it's not that expensive. It's again another headline to catch the attention of people not focusing on the details.

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Shibboleth is playing up so I can't check from here, will have a look tomorrow.

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Quote Originally Posted by b1candy View Post
    Also the fact that OSU points out Potassium is 880 times more abundant is pretty useless, we're not running out of lithium soon and on the whole it's not that expensive. It's again another headline to catch the attention of people not focusing on the details.
    From my pretty uninformed level (mere user of battery tech) I thought that the big driver for alternatives to Lithium was that the majority of Lithium production is centered around Bolivia and Chile. So all that's needed is a natural disaster or revolution and Lithium will get scarcer and therefore a lot more expensive. In which case a battery that's based on something more easily found around the world would be a great "Plan B".

    Actually would a KIon battery be less susceptible to bursting into flames than a Lion one? My (high school) chemistry ain't good enough to be sure....

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Quote Originally Posted by b1candy View Post
    For anyone interested, because it took two seconds to find the link to the paper but it wasn't posted here, here's the JACS page for it.

    pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.5b06809

    I don't have access to the paper (yet), but the gist of it is that the intercalation of potassium into graphitic sheets has been achieved through synthesis of soft carbon electrodes. Or at least the diagram suggests graphitic, but the paper specifies that these soft carbon structures are non-graphitic. The abstract doesn't exactly say how those soft carbon structures are formed, or how they are characterized, which will be the absolute most important aspect when it comes to cycling and energy density, as well as scale up and commercialization. So it sounds as if the research team is hiding the interesting stuff behind a wall and leading with a click-batey title to get interest. Also the fact that OSU points out Potassium is 880 times more abundant is pretty useless, we're not running out of lithium soon and on the whole it's not that expensive. It's again another headline to catch the attention of people not focusing on the details.
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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Actually would a KIon battery be less susceptible to bursting into flames than a Lion one? My (high school) chemistry ain't good enough to be sure....
    I don't know a huge amount about batteries, but as Potassium shares a group with Lithium (Group 1) and is further down, it is MORE reactive. Therefore I would assume if the batteries are manufactured similarly that it would be more unstable than Li-ion (but probably not a great amount).

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Sodium based batteries are potentially safer as they can be discharged down to 0V and still usable afterwards, which is good for transporting them. I would guess sodium is also more widely available but probably more difficult to extract.

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrard View Post
    Sodium based batteries are potentially safer as they can be discharged down to 0V and still usable afterwards, which is good for transporting them. I would guess sodium is also more widely available but probably more difficult to extract.
    Sodium is almost certain more widely available (what with all the salt in the oceans being Sodium Chloride!), and production is simply electrolysis on molten salt.

    I believe Sodium Ion batteries already exist. Also there are molten sodium based battery technologies which are generally used for large scale grid balancing

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Molten sodium batteries are horrifically volatile AFAIK; I've heard stories about blast bunkers being deformed by molten sodium battery explosions!

    There's a lot of research going on into making Sodium ion batteries viable; here's a couple of articles from Chemistry world just last month on new anode and cathode possibilities for making Na+ batteries more viable: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2015/09/graphene-phosporene-upgrade-sodium-ion-battery and http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2015/09/cathode-mineral-sodium-ion-batteries.

    tehre's also a team in Sheffield working on improving Na+ battery technology towards commericial viability: http://www.faradion.co.uk/technology/sodium-ion-technology/

    If they can make sodium ion batteries that are comparable with commercial-grade lithium ion batteries but much cheaper, it could be industry-changing....

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    TBH unless we move to better capacity batteries its not industry changing, while making it cheaper is nice the current tech is not keeping up with demand from products and services.

    We are way of yet in my book.

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Molten sodium batteries are horrifically volatile AFAIK; I've heard stories about blast bunkers being deformed by molten sodium battery explosions!

    There's a lot of research going on into making Sodium ion batteries viable; here's a couple of articles from Chemistry world just last month on new anode and cathode possibilities for making Na+ batteries more viable: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/20...um-ion-battery and http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/20...-ion-batteries.

    tehre's also a team in Sheffield working on improving Na+ battery technology towards commericial viability: http://www.faradion.co.uk/technology...on-technology/

    If they can make sodium ion batteries that are comparable with commercial-grade lithium ion batteries but much cheaper, it could be industry-changing....
    We tend to accept dangerous if it's cheap to produce

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    One area it could be useful is home energy storage systems. The power density isn't as critcal, although the volume would still be a criteria, but if it was cheap, it could help to create a stabilised power demand at a national level on its own without necessarily being combined with solar panels. Of course, to make this beneficial to an individual, it would require an Economy7 typre pricing structure for everyone to help them offset their electricity costs; charge when it's cheaper at night and use throughout the day when the costs are more.

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    isn't pottasium higly active even in daylight or water. our school labs were very careful about it...

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Higher activity makes potassium ion batteries faster charged than Li ion batteries.

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    Re: Potassium-ion battery hopes revived after over 80 years

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboysaif View Post
    isn't pottasium higly active even in daylight or water. our school labs were very careful about it...
    Same goes for lithium Just not quite as reactive as Potassium.
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