Chemical Engineering Students Create Future High Storage Capacity Batteries

Electric vehicles have received more attention in recent years for their potential to reduce emissions, replace fossil fuel consumption, diversify fuel sources, and integrate renewable energy into power systems.

In order to support this technology, of course lithium-ion batteries will become very important in the future. Unfortunately the availability of these lithium-ion batteries is very low in the market.

Many of the lithium reserves are located in remote areas and are hard to get. The researchers also racked their brains to increase the utilization of this lithium. Because it cant be denied that its use in mid-scale automotive will eventually push the price of lithium compounds up.

As a solution, a secondary sodium-ion battery was developed. Materials that are often used as anodes in sodium-ion batteries are carbon or graphite.

Graphite also has good electrical conductivity, a high specific surface area, and a flexible structure. However, graphite has a low storage capacity so that Sodium-Ion batteries are rarely used.

As an effort to improve the performance of Sodium-Ion batteries, three students of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Brawijaya (FTUB) created an Internation (Sodium-Ion Battery Innovation with Fe3O4/C Nanoparticles as Future Batteries).

Anima Rahmatika Putri, Ersita Rahajeng Wibowo, and Nursiti claim that Internation has a large storage capacity and has abundant material availability as a solution to the low availability of lithium batteries.

Furthermore, Internation consists of carbon topped with Fe3O4 (magnetite) nanoparticles. Magnetite was developed and designed as an anode material for Sodium-ion batteries.

The developed and designed Fe3O4/C composite has advantages over ordinary graphite anodes.

Internation consists of a number of cells arranged in series and parallel with cell packaging using a polymer to prevent short circuit.

The arrangement of each cell is designed using the sandwiching or stacking method, which consists of a carbon cathode, a separation membrane, and a Fe3O4/C anode.

Theoretically, magnetite has a large storage capacity per weight of material, it is also environmentally friendly, easy to obtain, and is relatively cheap. Meanwhile, carbon has a high electrical conductivity.

“We designed this Internation to be used as an electric car battery. In its future development, we want Internation to become a future battery with a high storage capacity and electrical conductivity,” said one team member, Nursiti.

With this work, the three students succeeded in obtaining research funding from the Ministry of Higher Education in the Student Creativity Program (PKM) in the field of Karsa Cipta.

With the guidance of Supriyono, S.T., M.T., the team will fight for the upcoming XXXIII 2020 National Student Scientific Week (PIMNAS).

“Hopefully this innovation can be useful and can be applied to electric cars in Indonesia. So that it can increase infrastructure development in Indonesia, especially in the fields of energy and transportation,” hoped Anima, representing the team. (mic)