Due to the increasing demand for electricity and the use of intermittent energy sources (such as solar photovoltaic and wind power), scientific research is constantly engaged in the development of new sustainable systems for large-scale electricity storage. In this context, the European project "BaoBaB" aims to develop an innovative battery based exclusively on sustainable chemistry and without the use of precious metals.
The 'BaoBaB' technology is based on the use of highly engineered membranes, which are able to convert a salt solution into acid-base solutions. During the battery charging phase, excess electricity produced by the grid (e.g., from photovoltaic panels or wind power) is used to generate acid and base solutions, which are safely stored in suitable tanks. Conversely, to reuse the stored energy when needed, the battery is operated in the opposite direction, to neutralise the acid-base solutions in a controlled manner, thus generating electricity.
The research project is the result of an international collaboration that began in 2017 between universities, research centres and companies in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. The project partners were Wetsus (research centre on water technology in the Netherlands), Fujifilm (membrane manufacturer), AquaBattery (innovative Dutch startup aiming to commercialise the technology), CIRCE (Spanish research centre), the University of Palermo, and SMEDE S.p.A. The demonstration prototype installed in Pantelleria, with a nominal power of 1 kW and a capacity of 7 kWh, is the first demonstration in the world of this technology on a pilot scale.
The presentation event at the Cossyra Hotel ended with a visit to the pilot plant at the Pantelleria power plant.
The BAoBaB project (http://www.baobabproject.eu/) has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731187.
More info: www.baobabproject.eu