Researchers from the Swiss Institute of Solar Technologies gathered a team of scientists from seven European countries and received financing from the Horizon Europe Foundation to develop a promising project of aluminum energy drives. The project was called “Reveal”, it is aimed at solving the key problem of green energy – how and where to stock up on the winter all the energy that windmills and solar panels develop in the summer? The attention of scientists today is directed to redox processes in metals.
According to calculations, pure aluminum has a specific energy intensity of 8.7 kWh per 1 kg, and 1 cubic meter. m aluminum can accumulate 23.5 mV he. This is 33 times more than the best Tesla electric vehicles, and 50 times more than in commercial lithium-ion batteries. If you fragment aluminum into balls with a diameter of 1 mm for ease of use, then only ten buckets of such material in the basement of a typical household will be able to provide it with energy for 1-1.5 years.
Initially, aluminum needs to be charged, for which aluminum hydroxide by electrolysis is turned into pure aluminum. The efficiency of the process is 65%, it requires a temperature of 800 ℃, special inert electrodes and industrial equipment, so the procedure will be carried out at special stations. But the reverse process of energy release can be organized in the same basement of the house, the necessary aluminum reaction with water occurs at a temperature of not more than 100 ℃. At the output, aluminum hydroxide is obtained, hydrogen for fuel elements and a certain amount of heat for heating the room.
There are also technologies for working with aluminum oxide, which require higher temperatures, plus scientists are instructed to study other methods of oxidation and restoration of aluminum. The main thing is that after discharge, the aluminum battery is again ready for work, so the same metal ball can be used almost endlessly. Pure aluminum can be stored even in open air, it is safe, and a layer of oxide film on the surface is less than 1 nanometer, so energy losses will be less than 1 %.
The Reveal project refers to technically complex and until 2026 the results should not be expected from it. But if it is crowned with success, then taking into account the huge reserves of aluminum on Earth, humanity can receive perfect energy drives.
Source — Reveal