US startup uses agricultural waste to produce low-cost, safe batteries

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From pv magazine ESS News site

US-based SorbiForce says it has designed its battery energy storage systems to be completely recyclable, reducing environmental impact and fostering a circular economy.

Its technology does not rely on fossil-based resources and instead utilizes agricultural by-products, like straw, and brine from desalination plants, making them a sustainable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

The company uses its own ultra-porous carbon, water, and salt to develop its battery storage systems. It employs locally sourced raw materials that are abundant in most locations in the USA, thereby mitigating supply chain risks associated with traditional battery components.

According to SorbiForce, its battery is resistant to mechanical damage, non-flammable, non-explosive, has no problem with overcharging, requires no cooling, and has no thermal runaway. “The bromine salt ZnBr2 in our battery is used in firefighting,” the company says.

The cost of 1 kWh is 1.8 times lower than the price of 1 kWh on the lithium-ion battery market, the company claims.

At the end of their lifetime, the batteries can be easily disposed, fully recycled, and repurposed as organic compost, leaving minimal environmental impact.

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The technology is touted as easily scalable offering a power range from 120 kW to 1 MW and storage capacity from 500 to 700 kWh.

The system measures 6 meters in length, 2.4 meters in width, 2.6 meters in height and weighs 18.9 tons.

The system needs four hours to charge and as much to discharge. SorbiForce guarantees 5,000 charge-discharge cycles and has a goal to extend this to 10,000.

“At present, we are introducing batteries with 4-hour and 12-hour cycles. That means 4 hours of charging/4 hours of discharging and 12 hours of charging/12 hours of discharging. However, we can manufacture batteries ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours,” Serhii Kaminskyi, founder and CEO of SorbiForce, tells pv magazine Energy Storage. “We are focused on industrial applications for intraday operations.”

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