Have you seen Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”? Then you’ve seen Prussian Blue. It’s an old dye commonly used in paints but did you know it’s an ingredient in batteries?
PhD student Florian Gebert is making better batteries. Over the road from Science Space is the Australian Institute for Innovative Matterials (AIIM). Right on the top floor, Florian and a team of chemists, engineers and physicists work together to develop cheaper and more efficient forms of energy storage. They’re called the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials. Sounds cool right?
Prussian Blue, or “potassium ferrocyanide” is a component of these batteries. Watch the video below to listen to Florian talk about his research. If you watch closely, you can even see him make it in the lab!
Transcript of video
I’m Florian Gebert, I’m a PhD student at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong, and I work with batteries.
Most batteries today, in laptops and cell phones, and pretty soon in cars, are made with lithium; they’re lithium ion batteries, which contain a lot of elements that are fairly expensive and very unequally distributed in the world.
I work with sodium-ion batteries, which doesn’t [sic] need those elements. They can be made with aluminium, iron and sodium, which are much, much cheaper.
Prussian blue is one of the most important components of the batteries that we make. It’s one half of the electrochemical set up that stores energy in the battery.
I’m excited to be sharing this because it, first of all, looks really nice and it’s also a really exciting part of science. It’s something that could actually help make the world a better place and to keep the promise of lithium-ion batteries to be sustainable and improve the environment.
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