5.18.2016

Dual electrolyte electroplate battery (Noble metal battery)

I wanted to coin a new term for my noble metal battery invention; the electroplating battery.  Noble metals (or refractory which I group in the term noble or noble gasses.  I consider any element a "noble metal" for purposes of this battery as long as it has a positive oxidation potential to achieve a reduced form) are not necessarily required for this iteration.  This new iteration of this battery (though not as practical as my initial invention) uses 2 electrolyte solutions (or 1 solution modified before recharging).  One solution is used for charging and the other for discharging.

Some noble metals (like chromium, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, plutonium, selenium, silica, tellurium, thallium, tungsten, possibly vanadium, but shouldn't be limited to those, more could work) will be corroded in a non reversible way like in a primary (non rechargeable) battery cell.  However, when the electrolyte is modified, the dissolved metal can be recharged, that is; electrodeposited back onto the cathode (which was the anode during discharging). This open source invention encompasses all such elements that can act as primary cells, but upon modifying the electrolyte, can be redeposited in their metallic form or as a compound or just a reduced ion.  Also it doesn't necessarily have to be able to reform a fully reduced metallic deposit, the battery could be ionic which in this case means could work on liquid or gaseous forms.  Just as long as the ions can be oxidized during discharge and reduced during recharging by modification of the electrolyte then it falls under this invention.

As a case study lets consider chromium. With a chromium anode and a sodium hydroxide electrolyte and non reactive (noble metal) cathode, this would form a primary cell with a voltage potential of anywhere between roughly -0.74v to -1.31v (depending on the electrolyte).  Keeping with the sodium hydroxide electrolyte, this cell has a negative oxidation potential.  This means the chromium ions in solution cannot accept electrons in order to cause the ions to be reduced to metallic form and redeposit on the electrode that is providing the electrons.  So what can we do?  Well taking this invention, we can modify the electrolyte so the chromium compounds in solution can actually redeposit.  Looking at the oxidation reduction tables we notice that upon the addition of H+ ions the chromium oxides can accept electrons which is seen by the positive oxidation potentials.  So for example we could neutralize and acidify the electrolyte with acid after the battery is discharged then recharge the battery.  The Chromium would leave the electrolyte and be redeposited back onto the electrode.  This acidified electrolyte can be removed and then replaced with an alkaline electrolyte and the battery is ready to run again.

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