Wednesday 1 October 2014

Nuclear Powered Water Based Battery

Nuclear Powered Water Based Battery
In our digital world of today, batteries have been playing a very important role in our everyday life right from cell phones to flashlights and cars, with scientists as well as technology companies competing and working out ways in improving battery life accompanied with efficiency.

For the first time, researchers at the University of Missouri claim to have created prototype of a nuclear powered water based battery which is said to be much more efficient and long lasting than the prevailing battery technologies which could be used as a dependable power supply for spacecraft, vehicles as well as other applications that would be more reliable, efficient together with longevity.

The next electric vehicle or smartphone could possibly be powered by a nuclear battery instead of the usual lithium-ion cell.

Researchers have incorporated a nano structured titanium dioxide electrode as a catalyst for water decomposition by using the radioactive isotope strontium-90 to intensify the electrochemical energy that is produced in water based solution. The catalyst in turn assists in the breakdown of water in association with the applied radiation into assorted oxygen compounds.

Nano Tritium Device – City Labs

When beta radiation of high energy passes through the platinum together with the nanoporous titanium dioxide, it results in electron hole pairs that are produced in the titanium dioxide creating electron flow together with resultant electric current.

According to Kwon, he states that since water acts as a buffer and surface plasmons which are created in the devices, seems to be very useful to enhance its efficiency. Moreover, the ionic solution does not get frozen easily at low temperature and performs in a wide range of applications which includes car batteries as well as spacecraft if packaged properly.

The Nano Tritium device from City Labs is the first nuclear battery which has been created to exploit the advantage of radiolysis which is the water splitting with radiation, in order to produce electric current at higher energy levels as well as lower temperatures than what is previously possible, which is at a much greater efficiency than other water splitting energy production techniques.

An Alternative to the Solar Cell

Since unlike the other forms of photocatalytic systems of water splitting to produce energy, high energy beta radiation in the MU device helps to create free radicals in water like the kinetic energytrapped or recombined in water molecule to enable radiation conversion into electricity.

Platinum/titanium dioxide electrode is used to gain efficient water splitting at room temperature. As a result while solar cells tend to use a similar form of mechanism for the transfer of energy through a hole-electron pair small amount of free radicals and gets produced due to the photon energies which are principally in visible spectrum and at a much lower level of energy.

However, on the other hand, beta radiation which is produced by the strontium source with the capabilities of enhancing the chemical reactions which involves free radicals at higher electron energy levels seems to be a much more efficient concept to produce long lasting and reliable energy and the water based nuclear battery may hopefully offer an alternative to the existing solar cell as low pollution and a sustainable energy source.

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