Chemists research the next big thing in batteries at UB

Five years from now, the battery you buy could be the size of a refrigerator. It could be the only thing you’ll need to power your home.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo and University of Rochester are collaborating on a prototype that uses sunrays on your roof and a cluster of liquid chemicals to store and reuse energy around the clock. “These things aren’t far off,” said Timothy Cook, an assistant chemistry professor at UB.

Researchers around the nation are working to refine ways to capture and store increasingly higher energy yields from wind and solar sources for use in applications as vast as the electrical power grid to as small as a home.

Cook’s lab – in collaboration with the lab of Ellen M. Matson, an assistant chemistry professor at the University of Rochester – recently struck what it believes is a significant research discovery: doubling the effectiveness of previous research into a type of battery called “redox flow batteries.”

Their paper, published last month in United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry, found that modifying a special metal-oxide chemical cluster drastically improved energy storage performance in batteries of its kind.



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