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With the help of nanomaterials, researchers found a way to improve hybrid flow batteries' performance - making the store energy longer at a lower cost, fewer location restraints, and zero emissions.

Researchers from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick, together with members from the Imperial College London, have enhanced three hybrid flow cells using nitrogen-doped graphene - graphene sheets exposed to nitrogen plasma - using a binder-free electrophoresis (EPD) technique.

The new technique could potentially help usher wider acceptance and renewable energy sources - such as hydro and solar power - currently limited by intermittency problems that prevent mass adoption of these sources into larger, national-scale power grids. One idea explored in working around this limitation is the use of long-duration battery technologies, like redox flow batteries. However, despite its longevity and performance, current costs have become significant tradeoff considerations and hamper widespread adoption. According to data from the United States Department of Energy, an affordable grid battery should have a cost of about £75/kWh or USD102.61/kWh. Lithium-ion batteries, currently among the most popular grid energy storage choices, still costs about £130/kWh or almost USD188/kWh.

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