A new energy revolution: the water battery

The first water battery, created by Chinese scientists, promises to transform electric mobility with infinite autonomy and without recharging, surpassing the performance of current lithium batteries

The world stands on the brink of an energy revolution with the introduction of the Chinese-developed water battery, an innovation poised to dramatically alter electric mobility. Boasting infinite autonomy and superior performance compared to lithium batteries, this technology could end the era of constant recharging for electric vehicles.

The water battery utilizes water as the electrolyte and aluminum as the anode material. This combination allows adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to store more energy per volume than the weight of the unit itself. Remarkably, a single gram of anode can hold over ten times the energy of a lithium battery. Beyond enhancing driving range to virtually unlimited distances, thus replacing gasoline, the technology promises extended battery life in consumer products and improved storage capacity for renewable energy sources.

How the water battery works: hydrogen as the key

Unlike traditional lithium-ion batteries, the Chinese water battery operates differently. Instead of lithium ions moving between anode and cathode, the charge carriers are water molecules. The cathode is made of manganese oxide, while the anode contains aluminum. In this process, the water molecules in the cells donate electrons to the manganese oxide cathode to produce positively charged hydrogen ions (H+).

A flow of hydrogen ions predominates in the electrochemical cell, moving from the cathode to the anode through the electrolytic solution. Electrons, made of the same substance as the device, transport energy through the designed circuit. During charging, the flow of electricity is reversed. The fixed aluminum anode releases electrons from the external power source into the electrolyte. Through this process, a flow of negatively charged hydroxide ions is generated from the electrolyte to the cathode.

Chinese researchers have conducted numerous experiments and tests in the lab to achieve this result. Initially, a measurement revealed that water electrolysis had a much greater capacity compared to a lithium-ion battery of equivalent size. In one of the tests, a small fan ran continuously for 12 hours powered by the water battery, whereas a lithium-ion battery of the same size but with limited power only operated for 2 hours.

Furthermore, the water battery consistently managed energy discharge throughout the duration, unlike the lithium battery. Scientists emphasize that the main advantage of the water battery is the use of water molecules to capture and return energy. The breakthrough of the water battery is that it stores more energy compared to the time taken by lithium-ion batteries, about ten times more.

Source: Nature Energy

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