As the energy consumption increases rapidly with each passing year, scientists are desperately seeking effective, new energy storage methods. An oft-ignored group of organic compounds called quinones may hold the ultimate solution.
For an effective energy storage solution, it must be able to charge and discharge itself quickly. Moreover, the costs of using such a solution should be such that they don’t bump up the overall storage costs too much. Quinones fulfill both of these requirements.
They also have a number of other properties which make them somewhat of an ideal candidate for energy storage. They are, for instance, very stable, highly inexpensive and very easily available, being quite abundant. Quinones can easily dissolve in water, which is why scientists are currently exploring ways of storing energy in dissolved quinones.
The benefit of using dissolved quinones is that there is no need to build up solid-state batteries. Rather, the quinones dissolved in water act like a ‘flow battery.’ A tank full of such dissolved quinones, experts estimate, can hold one kilowatt of energy, while the chemicals contained in it costs less than $27.
That’s very affordable, especially when compared to the current storage methods for renewable energy. Quinones are also relatively safer, since they are far less likely to react than other alternatives. The cost of using quinones is expected to come down as more research is done to improve quinone-based systems. And many scientists hope that these organic compounds may finally be a viable energy storage solution for the future.
Courtesy: Business Insider