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Iron could perhaps be a strong lithium substitute. The chemical element is thought to have better ‘redox potential’, which is scientific lingo for “reduction potential” (it won’t lose its efficiency so quickly).
In September last year, an article entitled ‘Iron Battery Breakthrough Could Eat Lithium’s Lunch’ was published in Bloomberg. It focuses on a clean energy firm in Oregon, US, that is making a record purchase of batteries that depend on “iron-flow chemistry”.
These can apparently store renewable energy for longer and could “help overcome some of the reliability problems that have caused blackouts in California and record-high energy prices in Europe”.
The only limitation with iron-flow batteries is that they are much larger than lithium batteries. 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.
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