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Grabias A.,Duquesne University | Grabias A.,Institute Of Electronic Materials Technology of Poland | Xu T.,Duquesne University | Xu T.,Flexel Inc. | Sorescu M.,Duquesne University
Ceramics International | Year: 2013

Three types of nanostructured systems: xNbO·(1-x)α-Fe 2O3, xNbO2·(1-x)α-Fe 2O3, and xNb2O5·(1-x)α- Fe2O3 were synthesized by ball milling at different molar concentrations (x=0.1, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7). The effect of Nb valence and milling time on mechanochemical activation of these systems were studied by X-ray diffraction and the Mössbauer spectroscopy measurements. In general, Nb-substituted hematite was obtained at lower molar concentrations for all Nb oxides. For the NbO-Fe2O3 system the favorable substitution of Fe2+ for Nb2+ in the octahedral sites in the NbO lattice was observed after 12 h milling for x=0.7. In the case of the NbO2-Fe2O3 and Nb2O 5-Fe2O3 systems a formation of orthorhombic FeNbO4 compound was observed, in which Fe3+ cations were detected. For the highest concentration of NbO2 (x=0.7) iron was completely incorporated into the FeNbO4 phase after 12 h milling. The molar concentrations of x=0.3 and 0.5 were the most favorable for the formation of ternary FeNbO4 compound in the Nb2O 5-Fe2O3 system. Influence of ball milling on thermal behavior of the powders was investigated by simultaneous DSC-TG measurements up to 800 °C. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

Peckerar M.,University of Maryland University College | Dilli Z.,University of Maryland University College | Dilli Z.,Flexel Inc. | Dornajafi M.,University of Maryland University College | And 8 more authors.
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2011

Ultrathin galvanic cells, which can comply with a variety of form factors and electronic system packages, are of technological importance, as they show promise for flexible electronic systems. Here we describe a high energy density flexible galvanic cell, which is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. It operates with a zinc anode and hydrated ruthenium(IV) oxide cathode, where RuO2snH2O nanoparticles are utilized in amounts that are not cost-prohibitive. As the battery utilizes aqueous electrolytes, it is safe in operation, which enables its use in a number of settings and surroundings. It can be optimized for volume manufacture at low cost. Given that they function at much lower cell voltage than Li-ion batteries do, Zn-RuO2 · nH2O cells can be recharged remotely, at a conveniently low voltage, by harvesting, for example, radio-frequency (RF) energy or microwaves. As an additional asset, Zn-RuO2 · nH2O electrodes enable battery-supercapacitor hybrid power sources. At present, this cell demonstrates a specific charge capacity of 84.4 mAh per cm2 of projected electrode area, which is, so far, the largest value reported for thin film cells. Also, its cycle life of up to 400 charge-discharge cycles is very promising for use as a secondary battery. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.

Patrut A.,Babes - Bolyai University | Von Reden K.F.,Mailstop 8 | Mayne D.H.,Baobab Trust | Lowy D.A.,Flexel Inc. | Patrut R.T.,Babes - Bolyai University
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms | Year: 2013

The Glencoe baobab, a very large specimen from South Africa, split twice in 2009. Several wood samples were collected from the eastern cavity, from the outer part of the main section and also from the largest broken segment which was connected to this section. These wood samples were processed and investigated by AMS radiocarbon dating. The radiocarbon date of the oldest sample was found to be 1838 ± 21 BP, which corresponds to a calibrated age of 1835 ± 40 years. Thus, the Glencoe baobab becomes the oldest dated baobab and also the oldest angiosperm tree with accurate dating results. The distribution of dating results revealed that the Glencoe baobab is a multi-generation tree, with several standing or collapsed and partially fused stems, showing different ages. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

A zinc-water battery system for use in underwater environments is proposed, with an expected energy density significantly higher than lithium-ion batteries and slightly less than zinc-air batteries. The research proposed utilizes a concentrated electrolyte, which when combined with an outside water supply on a catalytic electrode surface acts as cathode of the zinc-water cell. The technology is low cost, completely flexible, thin, and scalable to any size and form factor. This proposal aims to demonstrate this system, and show that it can be used to free up payload capacity in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) by utilizing the skin, dorsal fins, and tail of UUVs for high-capacity, flexible energy storage. The batteries are also useful for powering underwater sensors, as they are inherently environmentally friendly, and can be deployed in marine environments without risk of contamination.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 752.13K | Year: 2013

We propose developing high energy density, non-toxic, environmentally friendly zinc-water battery system, which can be manufactured in various form factors including flexible cells, based on novel metal hydrated ruthenium (IV) oxide chemistry. The cells are flexible and have a low recharge voltage. This makes them useful in a variety application as well (mounted on air frame support elements to monitor structural integrity, for example.) The objectives of this proposal include: (i) building galvanic cells that benefit from a highly efficient cathode material, based on hydrated Ru(IV) oxide, and (ii) extending the operational time of the cells by using seawater based electrolytes and fuel. Anticipated benefits of the proposed approach include: (i) creating power sources with extended lifetime that can be adapted to system geometry and product requirements for a particular application envisioned; (ii) the cell can be re-fueled with electrolyte concentrates and rejuvenating solutions, to provide optimized cell performance, while minimizing self-discharge; (iii) as seawater or seawater with a small amount of added fortifying chemicals is used as the fuel, no extra load needs to be carried with the cell, and high energy densities up to values exceeding 2000 Wh L-1 are projected, depending on the specific cell configuration implemented.

Flexel Inc. | Date: 2012-11-01

Systems for batteries or galvanic cells are disclosed. The system comprises a mixing chamber. The system further comprises a first reservoir, in fluid communication with a mixing chamber, the first reservoir configured to store a concentrated electrolyte. Additionally the system comprises a pump configured to pump a fluid into the mixing chamber. The system further comprises an electrochemical energy cell in fluid communication with the mixing chamber wherein the mixing chamber is configured to receive the fluid and concentrated electrolyte and mix the fluid and the concentrated electrolyte to produce a diluted electrolyte. Finally the system comprises the electrochemical energy cell configured to receive the diluted electrolyte, use the received diluted electrolyte for an electrochemical reaction and remove the used electrolyte solution from the cell.

Flexel Inc. | Date: 2011-04-28

An electrochemical energy cell has a galvanic cell including an anode electrode unit, a cathode electrode unit, an electrolyte body between the anode and cathode electrode units and contacting both the anode and cathode electrode units, and a separator layer including the electrolyte body and placed within the cell to contact both the anode and cathode electrode units to bring the anode and cathode electrode units in contact with the electrolyte body. The cathode electrode unit includes a cathode material including a powder mixture of a powder of hydrated ruthenium oxide and one or more additives. The anode electrode unit includes a structure formed of an oxidizable metal, and the separator layer includes a material that is porous to ions in liquid and is electrically non-conductive. A flexible electrochemical cell can be configured for a reduction-oxidation reaction to generate power at a surface of the electrode unit(s).

Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2010

This Phase II technical proposal provides a comprehensive description of the proposed work for further development and commercialization of a wearable battery cloth for first responders, as part of the Wearable Energy to Power and Operate Responder Tools program. During Phase I, a breakthrough discovery led to more than an order of magnitude improvement in battery capacity per unit area. While this discovery was not anticipated at the outset, it now allows the power available to first responders through a jacket lined with a battery-cloth product to be increased commensurately, without compromising mobility or weight. Whereas a square meter of material was originally conceived to replace a handful of AA batteries, today it holds the promise of providing the power of as many as 70 AA batteries. FlexEl`s business strategy centers on commercialization of the battery cloth product concept. This Phase II proposal is designed to allow us to achieve the milestones necessary to privately finance full-scale production and broad-based commercialization.    

Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.96K | Year: 2009

Hydrated ruthenium oxide has demonstrated outstanding volumetric charge storage capability. It is non-toxic, environmentally safe, and when used with an oxidizing counter-electrode, becomes part of a galvanic cell (a battery). Ruthenium oxide and many oxidizing metals, like zinc, are available as nano-particulate powers. They combine to form highly flexible batteries with excellent current sourcing capabilities. We have built a thin film battery with the highest reported current density of any thin film cell. The major barrier to acceptance of this material system is cost. In the past, 1 m2 of the battery material could cost one hundred thousand dollars. We propose a manufacturing technique that can lower costs to less than one hundred dollars per m2. It is based on a coating approach that forms continuous layers of nano-particles whose thickness is close to that of a single nano-particle diameter. Thin, coated sheets can be pulled through the coater at a rate of meters squared a minute. The resulting sheets are easily assembled into mechanically flexible batteries or capacitors. The goal of the proposed program is to create a wearable battery cloth capable of powering first responder gear for times much longer than that of a typical responder mission.

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