Proof-of-Concept of a Zinc-Silver Battery

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Proof-of-Concept of a Zinc-Silver Battery ( proof-of-concept-zinc-silver-battery )

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Energies 2014, 7, 3664-3683; doi:10.3390/en7063664 Article Proof-of-Concept of a Zinc-Silver Battery for the Extraction of Energy from a Concentration Difference Massimo Marino 1, Lorenza Misuri 1, Andrea Carati 2 and Doriano Brogioli 1,* 1 Dipartimento di Matematica, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Saldini 50, 20133 Milano, Italy; E-Mails: massimo.marino@unimib.it (M.M.); lorenza.misuri@unimib.it (L.M.) 2 Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, via Cadore 48, 20900 Monza, Italy; E-Mail: andrea.carati@unimi.it * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: dbrogioli@gmail.com; Tel.: +39-02-6448-8244. Received: 24 April 2014; in revised form: 5 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014 Abstract: Theconversionofheatintocurrentcanbeobtainedbyaprocesswithtwostages. In the first one, the heat is used for distilling a solution and obtaining two flows with different concentrations. In the second stage, the two flows are sent to an electrochemical cell that produces current by consuming the concentration difference. In this paper, we propose such an electrochemical cell, working with water solutions of zinc chloride. The cell contains two electrodes, made respectively of zinc and silver covered by silver chloride. The operation of the cell is analogous to that of the capacitive mixing and of the “mixing entropy battery”: the electrodes are charged while dipped in the concentrated solution and discharged when dipped in the diluted solution. The cyclic operation allows us to extract a surplus of energy, at the expense of the free energy of the concentration difference. We evaluate the feasibility of such a cell for practical applications and find that a power up to 2 W per m2 of the surface of the electrodes can be achieved. Keywords: salinity gradient power; power from low-temperature heat sources; renewable energy; zinc–silver battery OPEN ACCESS energies ISSN 1996-1073 www.mdpi.com/journal/energies

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