The Nitrogen-Oxygen Battery Concept: A Transformational Architecture for Energy Storage

K. Waldrip, F. Delnick and D. Ingersoll
Sandia National Labs, US

Keywords: energy storage

Summary:

The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity’s program in Stationary Energy Storage has among its goals to identify and investigate novel storage concepts with great potential to reduce the cost and improve the performance of stationary energy storage, providing a pipeline for future products and innovation in the United States. Among the projects selected for such transformational approaches to energy storage is the nitrogen-oxygen battery concept. This battery proposes to pair a reversible oxygen electrode, as in a traditional air cathode, with a reversible nitrogen anode to provide a very high energy density, very low cost solution for energy storage. Until relatively recently, N2 has been considered electrochemically inert; however, researchers at Kyoto University have shown that N2 can be continuously and nearly quantitatively reduced at atmospheric pressure in a molten chloride salt, and we at Sandia use this reaction routinely for nitride synthesis. We have adapted this reaction for use in a battery configuration and will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the development of the “N2/O2 Battery.”