“World’s first” iron-ion battery is developed by a tech research team in India. But in its current state, it’s only about half as powerful as lithium-ion.

iron-ion battery

According to a recent EnergyTrend article, a India Institute of Technology research team has developed the first iron-ion battery.

The technology could provide a “low-cost, stable alternative” to the common lithium-ion battery, according to the article. The research team’s creation is made of low-carbon steel with a vanadium pentoxide cathode — suitable for iron ion movement.

Why iron-ion?

The new development in battery technology are more cost-efficient than lithium-ion and feature a better power storage capacity. They’re also more stable, says EnergyTrend.

And because iron cannot produce dendrites, it prevents any short circuits from occurring when electricity is discharged, says the research team.

More from the research team:

“The redox potential of iron ion is higher than lithium-ion, and the radius of the Fe2+ ion is nearly the same as that of the lithium-ion. These two favorable properties of iron have been overlooked for so many years. And that’s the reason why we don’t have iron ion rechargeable batteries.”

Despite these benefits, the iron-ion batteries will need further development, the EnergyTrend article says. The research team’s findings show that it is only capable of 150 cycles of charging and discharging at present stage.

The energy density of the battery is also only able to reach around 220 Wh/kilo. That’s only about 55% of the 350 Wh/kilo of lithium-ion batteries, the article says.

When it is developed enough to be on par with lithium-ion batteries, the iron-ion battery will likely still take a while to see regular use in Western markets. But when that does happen, we have to imagine lower operating costs for battery-powered devices will be welcome in a world where consumer electronics come with increasingly-high price tags.

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