The Chalmers University of Technology researchers in Sweden have developed a concept for a cement-based rechargeable battery. One day, technology could transform a whole building into a massive energy storage device belonging to a giant battery. Technology has some interesting possibilities that cement is one of the most commonly used building materials around the world.
The concept implies a cement-based mixture with small amounts of short carbon fibers added to increase the conductivity and tenacity of the flexion of the material. Also incorporated inside the cement mixture is a metal-coated carbon fiber mesh with iron for the anode and nickel for the cathode. Other research has studied concrete batteries in the past, but they had very low performance.
The researchers at Chalmers had to propose a new way of producing the electrode. The idea they created have created a rechargeable system using an idea that had not been explored. The cement-based battery has an average energy density of seven watthours per square meter, which is about ten times better than previous concrete batteries can produce.
Researchers report that energy density is always very low in comparison with commercial batteries. Nevertheless, they believe that the limitation can be overcome thanks to the huge volume that the battery would offer when used to produce buildings. The benefits of having a huge multisetim building essentially a massive battery are apparent, including objects such as power lighting inside the building, providing cellular connectivity in remote areas or many other power requirements.
Scientists working on the project are clear that the idea is very early. There are many remaining major questions that need to be resolved before the cement battery can become a reality, one of the main challenges being saving the battery life and developing recycling techniques.