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Rhubarb flow battery- made with non-toxic, non-explosive, non-flammable organic compounds  RSS feed

 
Curtis Budka
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Location: Southern NH zone 5b
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Some people at Harvard are working on a battery made from all non toxic organic compounds (organic in chemistry means most things labeled as such are made up of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and/or phosphorous). As I understand it, the battery stores the electrolytic fluids in a separate container, where it can flow into the actual battery with the electrodes to produce electricity. I think this means that if you want to have an off grid electrical system, you won't be storing several batteries. Instead you'll have large amounts of the electrolyte stored, but only one actual battery. And the thing about rhubarb... one of the electrolytes is a type of quinone found in rhubarb. Apparently, other quinones work too, some of them found in plants. Unfortunately, they are also found in crude oil. I also have no idea what the extraction process involves to get the quinones. The other electrolyte being tested is ferrocyanide (apparently cyanide kills you by stealing iron from your body, in this case, the cyanide already stole iron from somewhere else, and won't let go of it), which is currently being used as a food additive and fertilizer, (so maybe only slightly toxic, considering the EPA's standards?) Lets also remember that battery electrolyte isn't something you would mistake as salad dressing, so I say its a lot better than what we have now. One of the articles I read said that the developers are hoping that this will be commercialized within 10 years.
 
Dean Howard
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Location: NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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I'm glad they found some other uses for my favorite vegetable, rhubarb.
Dang... I'm not too old to remember the capsules that a spy bites down on to kill themselves is cyanide. Cyanide as a food additive, that's hilarious. They might as well use rat poison.
 
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