Will Flow Batteries Be the Future?

liquid metal battery

Liquid-Metal to the Rescue

Right now batteries use hard metal material to store power. There are also things called flow batteries, which use liquid-state electrodes. These batteries can’t be used right now in applications where there’s movement. They have to be stationary. However, a team of University of Texas at Austin researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering may have found a way to change that. 

These flow batteries have to operate at high temperatures to work properly. This makes them somewhat hard to work with, but the upside is they don’t degrade over time. The team created what it calls a “room-temperature all-liquid-metal battery.”

This solution would create a battery that not only doesn’t have the heat issues that other flow batteries do, but it would also be a battery with greater storage capacity and less degradation than a typical lithium-ion battery. The research project published its findings in the scientific journal called Advanced Materials

The implications of this are big. With these flow, liquid-state batteries, you could have the battery be essentially any shape. This means you wouldn’t need a big blocky battery. The battery could fit the overall design of the bike and be crafted to be more of a functional structural component even. It’s a very interesting development and one that could transform the industry.


  1. July 28, 2020

    I imagine that custom-shaped batteries would increase both cost and complexity. Moreover, it would also drive the cost of blocky batteries – even ones using this tech – down.

    Aside from that, this tech is exciting. I’ve been following it for a while and developments in the tech a few years ago spurred me to begin investing in renewable energy. Clearly I’m bullish on it.

    Also exciting is Tesla’s “million-mile battery”. Either one of these developments could be what changes the economic factors preventing mass adoption of large-scale battery utility backups and electric vehicles.

    • July 29, 2020

      I can def see this tech driving down the cost of other batteries (lithium Ion), which could make electric bikes in general way cheaper. That would be what needs to happen for me to buy one.

      I’m a cheapskate, and until I can buy something better than the CSC City Slicker for a few grand, I’m not likely to buy an electric bike.

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