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Canada Power Transportation Technology

Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery 363

Jabrwock (985861) writes 'One of the biggest limitations on lithium battery-powered electric cars has been their range. Last year Israeli-based Phinergy introduced an "aluminum-air" battery. Today, partnering with Alcoa Canada, they announced a demo of the battery, which is charged up at Alcoa's aluminum smelter in Quebec. The plant uses hydro-electric power to charge up the battery, which would then need a tap-water refill every few months, and a swap (ideally at a local dealership) every 3,000km, since it cannot be recharged as simply as Lithium. The battery is meant to boost the range of standard electric cars, which would still use the Lithium batteries for short-range trips. The battery would add about 100 kg to an existing Tesla car's battery weight.'
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Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery

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  • by idji ( 984038 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @08:18AM (#47170789)
    Why don't they get honest and say "Smelting aluminium at 960 degrees".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 05, 2014 @08:47AM (#47170963)

    "Charging aluminum" consumes a LOT of heat + carbon (anode burning) + fluorine (escape from electrolyte). It's not just clean hydro-electricity.

  • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @08:51AM (#47170993)
    No... a 50 km commute could easily be handled by your lithium battery. So you would need zero of these per year of that's all that you were doing. This is a range extender - a way to shut up all those people who keep complaining that the 300 mile range of the Model S is just unacceptable. You don't even need a Model S though, you'd do just fine in a Leaf.
  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @09:48AM (#47171359)

    So what do you think bauxite (aluminum ore) is? It's a mixture of aluminum hydroxides and aluminum oxide hydroxides, with iron oxides, clay, and titanium dioxide as contaminants. Essentially the discharged battery will yield an unusually pure form of bauxite.

    Recycling ALUMINUM is just melting scrap aluminum metal so it can be refabricated into new aluminum products. As such, yes, it is arelatively low energy process.

    Electrolyzing BAUXITE into aluminum, on the other hand, is extremely energy intensive. Changing bauxite (aluminum+oxygen+hydrogen) into separate components is quite like changine water (hydrogen+oxugen) into separate components. In each case, the elements "want" to be combined. Separating them requires vast amounts of electrioc energy.

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