Salgenx (Low-cost membrane-free salt water battery for electrical energy storage, thermal energy storage, and seawater desalination)

Salgenx, an American clean tech startup founded in 2022, develops a high-energy and low-cost salt water flow battery. The battery stores electrical energy by electrolyzing sodium chloride aqueous electrolyte (NaCl/H₂O) and storing the sodium ions in the counter electrode and as-produced chlorine (Cl₂) in water-immiscible carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄) organic solvent. The fact that water and CCl₄ don't mix and that Cl₂ dissolves easily in CCl₄ make it possible to make a high-energy flow battery without a membrane. This cuts the cost of materials and operation by a lot. This new salt water battery can be used to store electrical and thermal energy storage, desalinate seawater, and decarbonize other industrial processes.

Challenges: flow battery still costs too much

More and more solar cells and wind turbines are being used to generate clean electricity. The ability to store their electrical energy would significantly increase the efficiency and reliability of these intermittent renewable energy.

Flow batteries store and release electrical energy by using the movement of electrolytes. The electrolytes are stored outside the battery, and when the battery is charged or discharged, they are pumped through the battery. This is very different from lithium-ion batteries. The flow batteries are easy to scale up and can have a long lifespan of over 20 years. This makes them good candidates for energy storage applications.

However, the market adoption of flow batteries has been hampered by their high-cost materials and low energy density. Most flow battery systems use ion-permeable membranes, which are expensive and further increase capital and maintenance costs. Therefore, it is necessary to develop high-energy and low-cost flow batteries.

Salgenx Technology

Salgenx has developed a low-cost, membrane-free salt water flow battery. It has a high energy density of 125.7 Wh/L and a round-trip energy efficiency of 91% at 10 mA/cm². The new flow battery charges through electrolyzing sodium chloride aqueous electrolyte (NaCl/H₂O) and storing the as-produced chlorine (Cl₂) in water-immiscible organic solvent such as carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄). The battery has a unique design of rotor discs inside the reactor chamber. These rotor discs create a  vortex flow of both electrolytes for electrode cell dynamics. This further enhances battery efficiency while providing a more robust and simple reaction with less parts. Salgenx’s low-cost salt water battery is scalable and can last for more than 25 years.

Salgenx slat water battery

The diagram below depicts Salgenx salt water flow battery.

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