Thermally regenerative ammonia batteries (TRABs) have shown great promise as a method to convert low-grade waste heat into electrical power, with power densities an order of magnitude higher than other approaches. However, previous TRABs based on copper electrodes suffered from unbalanced anode dissolution and cathode deposition rates during discharging cycles, limiting practical applications. To produce a TRAB with stable and reversible electrode reactions over many cycles, inert carbon electrodes were used with silver salts. In continuous flow tests, power production was stable over 100 discharging cycles, demonstrating excellent reversibility. Power densities were 23 W m−2-electrode area in batch tests, which was 64% higher than that produced in parallel tests using copper electrodes, and 30 W m−2 (net energy density of 490 Wh m−3-anolyte) in continuous flow tests. While this battery requires the use a precious metal, an initial economic analysis of the system showed that the cost of the materials relative to energy production was $220 per MWh, which is competitive with energy production from other non-fossil fuel sources. A substantial reduction in costs could be obtained by developing less expensive anion exchange membranes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering