Build a saltwater battery

Clean Power

© Lead Image © Nelli Valova, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Nelli Valova, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 252/2021
Author(s):

Rechargeable lithium batteries are expensive, and manufacturing them damages the environment. Saltwater batteries offer a cheaper and greener approach to storing energy.

The supply of lithium is finite, mining lithium pollutes the environment, and the batteries are expensive. None of this applies to saltwater batteries. Common household utensils are all you need to build one for yourself.

Energy turnaround and environmental benefits are some of today's central topics. However, it is not just a matter of making energy production more green but of looking at all aspects of the energy industry. It makes no sense to store clean solar power in lithium-ion batteries if producing them causes massive environmental damage. Recycling these batteries is also problematic. For stationary use, the saltwater battery offers a truly ecological alternative.

Everyone is shaped by their knowledge and experiences. When I first heard about storing energy in saltwater batteries, my first thought was: That can't possibly work. What about the electrochemical voltage series and the anode and cathode made of the same material? No, that's really impossible. A simple experimental setup quickly shed light on the matter. Spoiler alert: It worked!

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