Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras researchers have for the first time fabricated a rechargeable iron ion battery using mild steel as the anode. The iron ion battery is cost-effective and the amount of energy that can be stored in the battery is also high.
While lithium ions are the charge carriers in lithium ion battery, the Fe2+ ions perform that function in the case of iron ion battery.
With the world turning its attention to electric vehicles, the focus is on developing batteries that are cheaper. With no lithium reserves in India and shortage of lithium reserves in the world, the stress is on developing rechargeable batteries of comparable performance using materials other than lithium. And this is where the work of IIT Madras gains importance.
The team led by Ramaprabhu Sundara from the institute’s Department of Physics demonstrated the performance of an iron ion battery for up to 150 cycles of charging and discharging. With 54% capacity retention at the end of 50 cycles of charging and discharging, the battery display good stability. The results were published in the journal Chemical Communications.
When fabricated under controlled conditions, the amount of energy that can be drawn from the iron ion battery is 220 Wh per kg, which is 55-60% of lithium ion battery’s performance. The energy density of lithium ion battery is around 350 Wh per kg.
The elements used to create it – Iron and Vanadium are orders of magnitude cheaper than the Lithium and Cobalt needed for Li-ion batteries.