Researchers at Uppsala University have developed an all-organic proton battery that can be charged in a matter of seconds using a solar cell. The battery can be also charged and discharged over 500 times without any significant loss of capacity and is unaffected by ambient temperatures.
In a study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the scientists explain that to create the device, they used quinones, organic carbon compounds that are plentiful in nature and that occur, for example, in photosynthesis.
According to Christian Strietzel, lead author of the study, the team focused on quinones’ ability to absorb or emit hydrogen ions, which of course only contain protons, during charging and discharging.
Then, to transport ions inside the battery, they used an acidic aqueous solution as the electrolyte. Besides being environmentally friendly, the liquid makes the battery safe as it removes the hazard of explosion or fire.
“A great deal of further development still remains to be done on the battery before it becomes a household item; however, the proton battery we have developed is a large stride towards being able to manufacture sustainable organic batteries in future,” Strietzel said in a media statement.