In addition to lithium ions, commercially available chemical compositions for electric vehicles and stationary applications are increasing. Europe forges international alliances and bets on the hydrogen battery of the Italian company Green Energy Storage
Lithium batteries have made a technological leap in the process of electrifying the means of transport possible, thanks to the superior performance compared to the chemical compositions traditionally used in the past (such as lead, sulfur-sodium and nickel-zinc). However, this strategic element for the manufacture of accumulators (as well as cobalt) presents geopolitical, economic and environmental criticalities in the supply chain. For example, according to BloombergNEF’s Global Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Ranking, China, in 2020, produced 60% of the lithium battery components and approximately 80% of the cells. Moreover, according to analyst Kwasi Ampofo, lithium production, to meet the demand, “could grow seven times between 2020 and 2030”.
The search for alternatives thus becomes a priority, as demonstrated by the collaboration agreement, announced last March, between the European Battery Alliance and the U.S. Li-Bridge Alliance to “accelerate the development of stable supply chains for lithium-ion and new generation batteries, including critical segments of raw materials”. Let’s discover together the technologies that are today the best candidates for changing this sector and the world of electric mobility. Not only as structural parts of vehicles, but also as tools for the storage of energy (produced for example from renewable sources, such as photovoltaic systems on the roofs of buildings) with which to supply them.
The Trentino-based company Green Energy Storage (GES) proposes to evolve Redox Flow Batteries (RFB) through a new architecture with high energy density, able to deal with lithium-ion accumulators. In detail, the company has developed a hydrogen battery based on a hybrid system, in which hydrogen is present together with a patented liquid electrolyte “widely available at low cost in Europe, safe and eco-sustainable”. In this way, the battery self-produces the hydrogen needed for a closed circuit discharge/charge. This type of battery has a useful life of about 15/20 years and a more competitive Levelized Cost Of Storage compared to lithium technology. In addition, it can operate at room temperature, without being subject to overheating. And, thanks to its chemical composition, it allows the formation of a stable supply chain, from the supply of raw materials to recycling, in accordance with the principles of the circular economy and reducing geopolitical and environmental risks compared to lithium accumulators.