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Source: Pixabay

MIT Researchers Create Cheap 'Air-Breathing' Battery For Green Energy

By Brian Spaen

In order to make renewable energy reliable on a large scale, there needs to be a way to store the power that's being generated. Batteries are the best solution, but lithium-ion can be a costly product and they lose capacity after every recharge. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a more natural battery that’s not only reliable, but much less expensive.

This new battery is labeled as “air-breathing,” meaning that oxygen does push in and out of it to make it work. Sulfur dissolved in water is the anode (negative side) of the battery while a liquid salt solution represents the cathode (plus side). When oxygen moves into the battery, electrons are released from the anode. 

How does the battery get recharged? Oxygen moves out of it so the electrons come back into the anode. Yet-Ming Chiang, one of the researchers and a co-author of the project’s report, explained that the battery breathes in and exhales oxygen -- it’s not like humans that release carbon dioxide.