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Thread: Zinc Air Fuel Cells?

  1. #1 Zinc Air Fuel Cells? 
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    Being the 24th most abundant element on Earth, zinc is relatively plentiful. Available reserves are on the order of 430 million tonnes.

    http://www.meridian-int-res.com/Projects/The_Zinc_Air_Solution.pdf

    http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/li...s/chapter7.htm


    Last edited by The Finger Prince; November 20th, 2011 at 03:09 AM. Reason: added link
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    Lithium will be in short supply, particularly as it is a potential source of fusion fuel.

    Fusion: The Deuterium-Tritium Reaction


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    That is a purely temporary situation, Prince. Lithium reserves on land are only 13 million tonnes, but in the ocean, there is 230 billion. Research is under way to develop extraction from sea water. When that is completed, lithium will be essentially limitless.

    That said, I have no problem with zinc/air fuel cell technology, once developed. The market will decide which one wins.
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    Thank you for comment, Prince is big advocate of extracting such resources from seawater, notably uranium, which has been feasibly extracted at smaller concentration than that of lithium. Report above also touts safety advantages of Zinc-Air devices, plus high energy density and alleged ease and speed of recharging. In this era of AGW hysteria over the DREADED CO2, this angle is also used to promote the technology, as removal of the CO2 from air is required for best results. Carbon sequestration while you drive, move over Prius! It would appear that changing filter for CO2 would be no more onerous given correct design and equipment than current auto engine oil and air filters, agreed?

    Best regards, Prince.
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    Another competing battery technology is Nickel Metal Hydride.

    Nickel Metal Hydride NiMH Batteries
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    The problem with NiMH batteries is the memory effect. This prevents them from being useful for battery operated electric cars. If you do not fully charge and discharge them before charging again, each and every time, they lose capacity. In due course, this can be a major effect. For a car, it means the range progressively drops.
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    Website says to fully discharge once per month to mitigate this effect in NiMH battery. Does this sound reasonable?
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    NiHM are largely unaffected by charge amounts, this belief is mostly a hold over from older NiCD which had severe crystal build up and were sensitive to the amount of discharge.
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    Being the 24th most abundant element on Earth, zinc is relatively plentiful. Available reserves are on the order of 430 million tonnes.
    Zinc looses competition to Aluminum which is both more abundant and have better energy density.Boron have even higher energy density though not as common as Aluminum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    NiHM are largely unaffected by charge amounts, this belief is mostly a hold over from older NiCD which had severe crystal build up and were sensitive to the amount of discharge.
    Thank you for the clarification, sir.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Being the 24th most abundant element on Earth, zinc is relatively plentiful. Available reserves are on the order of 430 million tonnes.
    Zinc looses competition to Aluminum which is both more abundant and have better energy density.Boron have even higher energy density though not as common as Aluminum.
    You refer to these, I presume? Very interesting. All other things being equal, aluminum is a notably light in weight metal, so this should be advantageous for vehicles. Thank you.

    Aluminium
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    Among all chemical non-hydrocarbon energy carriers probably only Aluminum is practical as an energy carrier.

    Close competitors of Aluminum which rival in energy density per weight:
    1)Hydrogen-no practical way to store it.
    2)Lithium-rare enough,not sufficient reserves for worldwide consumption.Needed for many important aplications.
    Very reactive and may ignite.
    3)Carbon-fuel cell should be very hot.No way to make room temparature.Relieses CO2 as byproduct.
    4)Beryllium-toxic,very rare and ignites easily.
    5)Silicon-some researches already done but working prototypes have lower practical energy density than
    Aluminum.Perspectives of improvement are unknown.
    6)Boron-an interesting option.Have large recoverable reserves.
    There is clames that some metal-boride fuel cells already been researched and prototypes with outsdanding properties created.Green Car Congress: Researchers Develop Vanadium Boride Air Cell; Twice the Practical Energy Capacity of Gasoline
    Requires farther verification.
    Last edited by Stanley514; April 9th, 2012 at 01:00 PM.
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    In principle, battery exchanges could be as quick as the current refueling- maybe even safer. Combine it with a car wash, maybe, as the vehicle ambles along at a fixed rate it pauses, old battery is removed, advances, new battery is installed and tested, proceeds to squeaky clean finish, water and battery recycled.

    Less risk of contaminated groundwater and toxic/explosive fume release, too.
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    In principle, battery exchanges could be as quick as the current refueling- maybe even safer.
    In theory yes,but practically there is too many problems.
    First of all,all autoproducers should agree on standartisation size of battery and it`s place under hood.
    And they would need to have batteries of all sizes and types available starting from those for motocycles and
    ending with those for giant trucks.Looks quite expensive to be implemented.Though I read that in Israel there
    started some program of batteries exchange it is designed only for specific type of cars.And I guess nobody
    wants to have choise of car purchusing from one company only.
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    All legitimate points, but let us say a network of dealerships for a particular manufacturer began the trend, perhaps as an extension of the service department. Maybe fleet sales of delivery vehicles would be a good place to start. There has to be some sort of standardization eventually, and the innovators will win out, if they can find a practical model.

    I would not concentrate on trucks, particularly long-haul trucks, or motorcycles at the other end of the spectrum- more like a minivan or sedan, a simple, reliable, economical, short-range commuter, maybe just one model to begin with.

    Speaking of trucks, rail transport generally wins out over trucks, particularly with regard to high-density long range cargo. Diesel-electric locomotives are some of the original hybrid vehicles, in fact, and the full electrification of railways has been demonstrated as practical numerous times.
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    Speaking of trucks, rail transport generally wins out over trucks, particularly with regard to high-density long range cargo.
    Theoreticaly,interesting possibility would be to develop personal public transit.In this case there is no need for batteries because it could be electrified with linear electric motors.But governments are to conservative.Therefore it is unlikely.
    I have fealing that even battery swap technology is unlikely to replace fuel completely.Because you still need to recharge batteries
    much more often than to fill with gasoline.Many people would not like it.In the case of metal-air fuel cells you will need to develop another metalurgy industry.Do you think it is going to be less expensive than biodiesel from algae or biogas?
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    Depends on a lot of things. One thing for sure, electric vehicles and hybrids can generally recover some of the energy otherwise wasted in braking. They can provide torque faster than chemically fueled engines unless I am mistaken. I see that algae has been in the news lately:

    An Engineered Microbial Platform for Direct Biofuel Production from Brown Macroalgae
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    silicon fuel of some sort cuz its 2nd most abundent
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    It is also useless as a fuel
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    silicon fuel of some sort cuz its 2nd most abundent
    Silicon has aproximately the same energy density as Aluminum.Though to use it as fuel in a fuel cell
    is more problematic.You still need a proper electrolyte.Hence lower power density and so.
    If claims about Boron-based fuel cells could be proved it may become even better than Aluminum.
    There is enough of Boron in a seawater...
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