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Scientists predict new invention could spark 'battery revolution' in next 20 years: 'I am confident about that'

"There is a lot of intense research going into pushing the boundaries of battery performance."

"There is a lot of intense research going into pushing the boundaries of battery performance."

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Battery storage is crucial for the future of renewable energy production. 

Unfortunately, solar and wind power generation depend on certain weather types — and the time of day, in the case of solar — to produce energy at efficient rates. When the conditions aren't favorable, stored energy in batteries can make up for the shortfall. 

However, batteries have a few issues. The cost of production, the rare materials required for development, and their life span are notable problems.

As The Independent reports, a team from the University of Cincinnati has developed a new battery to improve some of these areas.

The redox-flow battery, which uses lithium in its construction, has removed the membrane that typically splits the positive and negative sides of a battery, the news outlet explains. 

This is one of the most expensive parts of battery technology, and avoiding it would provide huge cost savings. The battery has also demonstrated high voltage and energy density, which means performance has not been compromised.

"I am confident about that," research lead Dr. Jimmy Jiang said about the potential for this development to bring a "battery revolution" in the next two decades, per The Independent. "There is a lot of intense research going into pushing the boundaries of battery performance."

Indeed, scientists are looking into increasing storage and lowering the costs of batteries. Research into solid-state batteries, for example, is proving greater energy storage is possible — which is an especially promising development for the electric vehicle sector. 

Meanwhile, BYD — a vehicle manufacturer based in China — and Huaihai Holding Group have entered a partnership to produce sodium-ion batteries that are far cheaper to deliver in comparison to lithium-ion alternatives. Sodium is also much easier to source.

In theory, savings made on the cost of batteries should be a huge boost to the electric vehicle sector, as the price of initial purchase is one of the main barriers for potential customers to buying zero-tailpipe-pollution cars, according to the International Energy Agency.

Making battery production more cost-effective would likely lower prices on electric cars, potentially leading to more dirty-fuel-powered cars being taken off the roads, reducing planet-warming pollution.

Improved battery technology also makes the adoption of renewable energy easier to achieve, with better and more affordable storage capacity allowing for a reliable fallback when conditions aren't favorable to create power instantly.

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