A group of chemists working to improve the flow battery has found inspiration in an unusual place: the forest floor. A research group at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, described how his group has adapted a compound made by mushrooms to improve the stability of flow batteries.
As the global energy market, piece by piece, slowly but surely, moves towards a renewables-centered paradigm, dispatchable solar and uncurtailed wind, along with other forms of clean energy, are requiring longer and longer durations of storage to integrate them to the grid. While there’ll be a place for lithium-ion for many years yet, the technology really excels at applications of up to around four hours. For everything else, there’s a growing list of contenders, with diverse technologies and at different stages of commercialization. Here’s a handy guide to some of those technologies and their providers, electrochemical and otherwise, that promise anything from five hours to even days or weeks of storage.