Rechargeable batteries made of cement
Researchers from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have published a new concept for rechargeable batteries made of cement.
Dr Emma Zhang joined Professor Luping Tang’s research group several years ago to search for the building materials of the future. Together they have now succeeded in developing what is believed to be a world-first concept.
The concept involves first a cement-based mixture, with small amounts of short carbon fibres added to increase the conductivity and flexural toughness. Then, embedded within the mixture is a metal-coated carbon fibre mesh – iron for the anode, and nickel for the cathode. After much experimentation, this is the prototype that the researchers now present.
“Results from earlier studies investigating concrete battery technology showed very low performance, so we realised we had to think out of the box, to come up with another way to produce the electrode,” said Zhang. “This particular idea that we have developed – which is also rechargeable – has never been explored before. Now we have proof of concept at lab scale.”