Grid-scale approach to rechargeable power storage gets new arsenal of possible materials
Liquid metal batteries, invented by MIT professor Donald Sadoway and his students a decade ago, are a promising candidate for making renewable energy more practical. The batteries, which can store large amounts of energy and thus even out the ups and downs of power production and power use, are in the process of being commercialized by a Cambridge-based startup company, Ambri.
Researchers show that calcium, an abundant and inexpensive element, can form the basis for both the negative electrode layer and the molten salt that forms the middle layer of the three-layer battery. That was a highly unexpected finding, Sadoway says.