MIT semi-solid flow cell battery technology solves biggest problems faced by EV Industry

With lithium-ion batteries viewed as the future of electric vehicles, the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT have developed a new battery technology that experts claim could completely revolutionize the automotive industry.

The new technology tries to provide the solution to two biggest obstacles in front of electric vehicles today -- costs and range. MIT’s newly developed semi-solid flow cell battery technology could be a answer to the overcome both these hurdles.

Dubbed as ‘Cambridge crude’, the new technology essentially suspends a typical battery’s positive and negative electrodes in a liquid electrolyte. The energy stored in that liquid called electrolyte can be accessed by pumping the fluid through the system. Just as one pumps in normal gasoline in conventional cars.

Notably, the flow batteries have been around for a while and MIT’s offering is definitely not a eureka moment; but MIT’s design differs in that it is much more energy dense. In fact, MIT says its design provides a 10-times improvement in energy density over present liquid flow-batteries; thanks to the application of the chemistry behind lithium-ion battery.

Some other pluses of the MIT’s a new battery technology:

1) MIT’s semi-solid flow cell can be produced at about half the cost of conventional lithium-ion battery

2) MIT’s liquid battery technology needs about half the physical space than comparable lithium-ion batteries.

3) Cambridge crude can be recharged like a normal battery

4) Once the Cambridge crude’s (electrolyte’s ) energy is depleted, the fluid can be removed and replaced with fully charged liquid. Giving electric vehicle owners of late 2013 the ability to “refuel” their vehicles like a conventional car.

Yes only after late 2013. As MIT expects to have a fully-functioning prototype system ready to be “engineered for production as a replacement for existing electric-car batteries” by late 2013. --------

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