Bill Gates Invests in Liquid Metal Battery

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Liquid Metal Battery, a company pursuing a breakthrough batterydesign, has attracted Bill Gates and an oil driller as seed investors, reports CNET. We’ve contacted the firm for comment. 

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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2 Comments

  1. Thomas Krohg said:

    OK! Great! Now Dumb it down just a little. Whats in it for me? Whats in it for the environment? How will we be best served by an innovation like this?

  2. Paul Appleton said:

    What is in it for you?
    1. China won’t own us all because they own the lithium.
    2. Exchangeable batteries will be mass produced quickly
    making the EV proposition ?<30-40% less, because,
    like gasoline, we will not buy a 5 yr energy supply
    from the auto dealer.
    3.Do you really understand technology of your heat
    air conditioner or refrigerator….does it matter?
    4.Bill Gates delivered the world drug market the AIDS
    pills 1/100 of what corporate pharma used to charge.
    5.Gates (and W Buffett) own substantial stakes in BYD– a dream EV,built in China, to be soon proliferating
    in US…as Toyota once did and stumbled, in the late
    70's
    Others may have other ideas.

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