Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have demonstrated for the first time a working rechargeable "proton battery" that could re-wire how we power our homes, vehicles and devices.

The rechargeable battery is environmentally friendly, and has the potential, with further development, to store more energy than currently-
availablelithium ion batteries.

Potential applications for the proton battery include household storage of electricity from solar photovoltaic panels, as done currently by the Tesla 'Power wall'
usinglithium ion batteries.

With some modifications and scaling up, proton battery technology may also be used for medium-scale storage on electricity grids - - like the giant lithium battery in South Australia—as well as powering electric vehicles.

The working prototype proton battery uses a carbon electrode as a hydrogen store, coupled with a reversible fuel cell to produce electricity.

It's the carbon electrode plus protons from water
thatgive the proton battery it's environmental, energy and potential economic edge, says lead researcher Professor John Andrews.

"Our latest advance is a crucial step towards cheap, sustainable proton batteries that can help meet our future energy needs without further damaging our already fragile environment," Andrews said.

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Category: Science