Batteries used in motor vehicles should be made efficient for effective functioning.
Work can’t be done without energy! Energy is a necessity to perform any kind of work. The energy provided to many of the appliances/machines is with the help of batteries. Batteries are devices that are made up of chemicals and electric rods.
When external electric power is supplied, the chemical reaction occurs inside the battery and the energy is released that enables the appliances/machines to function. Most commonly, batteries are made up of lithium (Li) and oxygen (O2). However, such batteries have inefficiency in functioning as they drain out quickly and have a short life span.
Researchers have been working on replacing lithium with potassium. Therefore, batteries presently manufactured use potassium (K) and oxygen (O2). These batteries have passed the efficiency tests and proved to be a better version. Its discharge potential gap of about 50 mV is the lowest reported value in metal-air batteries. This provides round-trip energy efficiency of >95%.
In comparison, lithium-air batteries (Li-O2) have a much higher overpotential of 1–1.5 V, which results in 60% round-trip efficiency. The mechanism of working remains the same with all chemical reactions involved to liberate energy.
The energy generated by potassium-oxygen batteries is twice efficient than that of lithium-oxygen batteries. These batteries have the potential for energy storage from solar and wind. The elements (K, O2) do not interference during the storage, they can be used for the storage of clean renewable energy.
The batteries have a longer life; which can be used in places where batteries need to sustain for a longer duration. These kinds of batteries would be useful in mobile phones, laptops, computers, industrial machinery and also in solar and wind energy storage panels. The energy generated by these batteries does not release carbon dioxide (CO2) and hence, does not contribute to Global warming.
This technology is a step forward for sustainable change that will help in conserving energy and saving our planet Earth. In 2007, Chinese company Starsway Electronics marketed the first potassium battery-powered portable media player as a high-energy device. Potassium batteries have been proposed for large-scale energy storage given its exceptional cyclability.
Conclusion- Some efforts from our end have to be made for sustainable development. Make use of new modernized engine vehicles. Minimise the use of gadgets that run on high voltage batteries. Reduce the use of vehicles that use petrol/diesel as an energy source.
Editor: Anomitra Dey
2. Paul Gilmore, Vishnu B. Sundaresan. A Functionally Graded Cathode Architecture for Extending the Cycle‐Life of Potassium‐Oxygen Batteries. Batteries & Supercaps, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/batt.201900025