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IIT- M researches develop zinc-air batteries as alternative to lithium-ion batteries

- May 31, 2022

Chennai, May 31 (BPNS)

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras are developing zinc-air batteries as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles.  IIT- M researches,according to information available have already applied for patents for the technology.

A senior researcher at IIT-M who is in the know of things told IANS that the zinc-air batteries are economical and have a longer shelf life and this makes them useful in two and three-wheeler electric vehicles.

Researchers are also advocating for separate zinc-air recharge stations similar to petrol stations and zinc-air battery users can swap their used and empty batteries with the charged ones.

This is a major advantage of the zinc-air batteries as lithium-ion batteries have to be replaced in total with a charged lithium-ion battery and lead to double the capital investment when compared to zinc-air batteries.

The research team of IIT- Madras is also planning to recharge used ‘zinc cassettes’ through solar panels.

Zinc-air batteries are priced at US dollars 150/ kw hour while lithium-ion batteries are priced at US dollars 200-250 per KW hour. Researchers said that the zinc-air batteries are safe as they don’t catch fire as the batteries use aqueous electrolytes.

A senior researcher in the Chemical Engineering department of IIT- Madras said that zinc is available in large volumes in the country and said that his team was developing a futuristic model of zinc-air batteries for Electric Vehicles.