Liquid Metal Battery to get investment from Bill Gates

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A commercializing technology, Liquid Metal Battery developed by Donald Sadoway as co-founder, attract investors including Bill Gates to invest. The technology was aims to solve the problem of degrading electrodes which reduce the lifespan of conventional batteries as well as cut the cost of energy storage and to store several hours of wind and solar power. Its expected to demonstrate the system connected to the grid in three to five years.

According to Sadoway, who also a professor at a materials chemistry professor at MIT, the all-liquid approach will reduces the degradation of electrodes in batteries and allows for high current flow required for mass storage on the grid, so we can use cheap components to built battery.

In the Liquid Metal Battery, the active materials such as the cathode, anode, and electrolyte are a liquid at high temperatures, not like ordinary batteries that uses solid cathode or anode. A prototype system is in the size of a pizza box of each battery cell to store about 200 watt-hours and work at 1 volt. Its consist of a heavy liquid metal cathode, a molten salt electrolyte, and a less dense liquid metal anode which all components are surrounded by an insulator. Next, the company will build a larger cell about the size of a Ping-Pong table.

Previously, the Liquid Metal Battery was invented at MIT has received funding from grants from the DOE's ARPA-E research agency.

Photo Credit: Martin LaMonica/CNET

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