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Title: Improved low-cost, non-hazardous, all-iron cell for the developing world

A low-cost, non-hazardous personal-power system based on an aqueous all-iron electrochemical cell is demonstrated in this paper. The system is intended to be assembled and operated by developing-world households that lack sufficient access to electricity, thereby enabling LED lighting or mobile phone charging on demand. Lab-scale hardware is used to assess the performance of individual cell components. It is found that coffee filter paper is an effective low-cost separator. Carbon felt is a low-cost electrode material, and its performance and wetting by the electrolyte solution is greatly improved by pre-treatment with sulfuric acid. The carbon felt does not degrade after a week of daily use. By using these components, performance of the system is significantly improved over the previous baseline, with power density more than doubling to 40 mW cm -2, and iron utilization improving from 78% to 88%. The operating cost is estimated to be less than US$0.03 per mobile phone charge. Based on the lab-scale results, a stand-alone prototype consumer product is designed, fabricated, and tested. It successfully provides 2.5 h of LED illumination while consuming 200 mL of electrolyte solution via gravity feed. Finally, we anticipate these results will enable deployment of this innovative system to energy-impoverishedmore » individuals in the developing world.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Technologies Area. Energy Conversion Group
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Power Sources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 332; Journal ID: ISSN 0378-7753
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; Redox flow; All-iron; Developing world; Portable power
OSTI Identifier:
1377587
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1359485