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This means they wouldn’t be able to be used in smartphones or laptops or even electric vehicles, but could work well as a practical option for grid storage.
Iron also doesn't catch fire easily the way lithium does. That's another win for energy storage at grid scale where they could place these at unmanned substations and not worry about them burning the place down unexpectedly. Or potentially - charge up an iron air battery overnight on the cheap midnight to 6am energy and then have it run DC Fast Charge stations during peak hours when energy costs are high. This would help the grid and also let you shift that energy from the cheap production hours to the expensive distribution hours.

Locate the iron-air storage physically close to (or at) the DC-FC station rather than farther away on the grid and it means you'd not even impact the grid at all to do DC-FC during peak hours.
 

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There is very little elemental Lithium in a Lithium-ion battery. It's not the Lithium that is burning, it's the electrolyte.

Also, there is a difference between primary Lithium batteries and rechargable Lithium-ion batteries.
Poke a hole in any cell phone battery or EV battery and there's fire. That's all I'm getting at. Yes, there's fire resistant li-ion batteries, but they have notably lower energy density, so they haven't been the priority in phones, laptops, or BEVs. I suspect we're within a decade or two of a high capacity, low cost, low reactivity battery for all those applications, but even just recently a PG&E battery storage facility had a spontaneous fire. That's with a grid-tie facility too, so issues like size and weight don't apply.
 

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Also, it's not a hole that causes a fire, it's the damagaing of the separator between the cathode and annode that then creates a short circuit that causes the fire.
OK, but you do the same to an older NiCad or NIMH battery or even a lead acid battery and you might get sparks and a puff of smoke, maybe even a pop from the hydrogen in the lead acid battery, but then it's over. Li-ion is the one that's still being worked on to make them less combusty. Lots of things will spark when shorted, it's li-ion in specific (and yes, not every variety, but the variety used in phones and BEVs) that spark but then also combust when punctured. I'm a big fan of EVs, but we're still in the early days.
 

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Yea this is exciting stuff for energy in general, but not really relevant to transportation.
It can be relevant if it lets you charge up a huge iron-air battery overnight when grid demand is low and then supply the spikes for DC Fast Charging stations during peak hours. The key would be if they are more robust than the 400 to 1000 cycles of Lithium Ion batteries if you're going to do it every day. After all, a full round trip charge/discharge every day with Li-ion would translate into only 1-3 years of service, or perhaps 5-8 years if you lop off the top and bottom of the Li-ion's capacity.

Here's what I found in quick searching for iron-air:

This is where iron-air batteries come in. They offer a high development potential, since both iron and potassium - the basis for the alkaline electrolytes - are present in bulk quantities. At the same time, the iron electrodes are very robust and can survive more than 10,000 charge/discharge cycles. This corresponds to a service life of about 30 years. In addition, iron-air batteries are insensitive to overcharging, partial and deep discharge.
They're not at this level of maturity yet, but they could be a huge future component for supplying DC-FC stations with energy during the daytime peak that was harvested from the cheap overnight production. It's promising tech as part of the overall grid and infrastructure, especially for Level 4 charging, or whatever it will be called for OTR trucking chargers when that becomes mainstream.
 
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