A Breakthrough in Battery Design to Make Large Scale Renewable Energy Practical? Or another Cold Fusion?

A Breakthrough in Battery Design to Make Large Scale Renewable Energy Practical? Or another Cold Fusion?

Or another "Cold Fusion"?

Updated July 24, 2021

The Wall Street Journal reports that a start-up, Form Energy Inc., has a new design of rechargeable batter based on an Iron to Air ion exchange  that can make large scale renewable energy practical.

The problem with using renewable sources of energy, like solar, wind, ocean currents a replacement for tradition coal, natural gas  and oil power plants:

  • the amount and location of land required for the renewable source;
  • The ability to store the energy generated for periods when the source is not available, like nighttime, cloudy days and days when the wind isn't blowing.

Current rechargeable batteries are so expensive as to make them completely impractical for large scale use to replace fixed power plants. An inexpensive battery that that can be scaled up to inexpensively and reliably store large amounts of energy for days would be a game-changer.

So, along comes Form Energy with it's inexpensive Iron-to-Air battery technology.

Lithium-ion battery cells are reliable and found in many devices from your cell phone to electric vehicles.  But to make them power grid-scale batteries would be prohibitively expensive, as the rare earth metals such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and manganese minerals used in the batteries cost between $50 and $80 per kilowatt-hour of storage.

But Form Energy's iron batteries' materials cost less than $6 per kilowatt-hour of storage; or less than $20 per kilowatt-hour for a complete storage system.

How does it work?

The batteries reversibly use energy from any source (obviously including photovoltaic solar cells, wind turbines, etc. to combine oxygen with iron to produce iron oxide (rust) and reverse the process. In a way, this is similar to how your body takes in oxygen and combines it with an energy source, food, broken down to simple sugars, to release the energy and store it in forms your body can use later (glycogen, fat, etc)

Iron is cheap, but it has one drawback; it's heavy, so these would only be practical in fixed locations, not electric vehicles.

When and How is this Coming?

The WSJ reports that Form Energy's backers include "Breakthrough Energy Ventures", whose investors include Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. .The company claims its iron-air batteries should be commercially available by 2025.

Those are some heavy hitters, so the question remains, is this a pie-in-the-sky venture that will not pan out, as "cold fusion" did; or is this a genuine breakthrough that could make the move away from fossil fuels acheivable on a large scale? Only time will tell.

We will continue to monitor developments and update this page as they occur!

You might also like these convenient all-in-one battery recycling collection containers. There good for home or business. They're obvious and clear, no explanation required. It has everything you need, Everything you need to easily and safely recycle batteries: an attractive box, instructions, a roll of tape, required labels, and a D.O.T. Special Permit.

Ways to save money AND help the environment:

Eat healthier AND save money: Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Combo with Multicooker Lids that Fries, Steams, Slow Cooks, Sautés, Dehydrates

Save water AND money with this showerhead adapter, it lets the water flow until the water is hot, then shuts off water flow until you restart it, ShowerStart TSV Hot Water Standby Adapter

Protect your health with these:

Mattress Dust mite-Bedbug protector, 100% Waterproof, Hypoallergenic, Zippered

Handheld Allergen Vacuum Cleaner with UV Sanitizing and Heating for Allergies and Pet, Kills Mite, Virus, Molds, True HEPA with Powerful Suction removes Hair, Dander, Pollen, Dust,

Immune Support Supplement with Quercetin, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3

GermGuardian Air Purifier with UV-C Light and HEPA 13 Filter, Removes 99.97% of Pollutants

5 Stage Air Purifier, Features Ultraviolet Light (UVC), H13 True Hepa, Carbon, PCO, Smart Wifi, Auto Mode, Quiet, Removes 99.97% of Particles, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander, Dust, Odors

Interesting Reads:

THE PREPPER'S CANNING & PRESERVING BIBLE: [13 in 1] Your Path to Food Self-Sufficiency. Canning, Dehydrating, Fermenting, Pickling & More, Plus The Food Preservation Calendar for a Sustainable Pantry

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Paperback

The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards: A Guide to Understanding Geologic Hazards Including Asbestos, Radon, Swelling Soils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback

See Echo Dot on Amazon