Bill Gates Invests in Liquid Metal Battery
The inventor of the core technology for the battery is Don Sadoway, MIT Professor of Materials Chemistry, one of the school’s most popularprofessors and sought-after speakers.
Here is what we wrote about Sadoway and his invention back in March:
Sadoway has challenged the research community to invent a colossal yetcheap battery. He directed researchers to look at the economy of scaleof modern electrometallurgy and the aluminum smelter, which handles theholy grail of batteries — achieving a high current while maintainingmassive scale.
Why is an aluminum cell not a battery? You have to produce liquid metals at both electrodes.
Making metal at the cathode is trivial, but making metal at the anodeis not so trivial. So Sadoway went back to the Periodic Table and usedmagnesium to "intimidate" antimony into behaving like a non-metal. Fromthere, using seed money from within MIT, Sadoway and his team inventedthe liquid metal battery or, more academically, a process called"Reversible Ambipolar Electrolysis."
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