There is a new player in the automotive game and it will soon be another household name.
QUANT has developed a car that is essentially running on saltwater. They call the water bi-ION. It is actually two separate mixtures of water that contain the necessary ingredients for electricity, when combined in a nanoFlowcell battery.
Flow cell batteries aren’t much different from the rechargeables that we are used to, aside from their massive size.
By definition: A flow battery, or redox flow battery (after reduction–oxidation), is a type of rechargeable battery where rechargeability is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within the system and separated by a membrane. Ion exchange (providing flow of electric current) occurs through the membrane while both liquids circulate in their own respective space.
In a conventional rechargeable battery, electrical charges are stored in an electrode called an anode. When discharged, electrons are pulled off the anode, fed through an external circuit where they do work, and are then returned to a second electrode called a cathode. Liquid electrolytes between the electrodes carry ions through the battery to balance the charges. The batteries can be recharged by plugging them in, which forces the charges—and the ions—to flow in reverse. A solid-state battery works in the same way, but using a solid electrolyte.
In flow batteries, the charges are stored in liquid electrolytes that sit in external tanks. The charge-carrying electrolytes are then pumped through an electrode assembly, known as a stack, containing two electrodes separated by an ion-conducting membrane. This setup allows large volumes of the electrolytes to be stored in the tanks. Because those tanks have no size limit, the storage capacity of a flow battery can be scaled up as needed. That makes them ideal for storing large amounts of power for the grid.
A nanoFlowcell battery is just what the name implies, a very small Flowcell. The nanoFlowcell uses a new technology called bi-ION, as the liquid carrier for energy. The power density of the electrolyte is comparable with that of modern lithium-ion batteries, but its energy density is five times greater! bi-ION is the perfect fuel for an environmentally compatible and sustainable electric drive.
Compared to conventional energy carriers like gasoline, diesel, hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries, bi-ION is not harmful to health or the environment and is neither flammable nor explosive. Additionally, not only is bi-ION sustainable and environmentally compatible to produce, but the electrolyte liquid is considerably less expensive to produce than refining fossil fuels or the manufacture and use of lithium-ion batteries.
In contrast to fossil fuels, the bi-ION electrolyte solution is not extracted and refined in just a few countries, but can theoretically be manufactured more-or-less all over the world, given the appropriate production equipment. Distributing and selling bi-ION does not call for the construction of a dedicated fuel station network. Existing fuel stations can also be used for bi-ION with just a few minor modifications to the pumps and nozzles. Thanks to its properties, the bi-ION electrolyte liquid is not subject to any hazmat obligations, unlike fossil fuels. The manufacture, transportation and distribution of bi-ION is therefore relatively straightforward.
nanoFlowcell electric vehicles are easy to “recharge” with bi-ION. Refilling the tank with electrolyte liquid is almost identical to the refueling process for vehicles with internal combustion engines, just that nanoFlowcell vehicles need two liquids (one positive and one negative electrolyte) to be filled into two separate tanks simultaneously.
Similar to hydrogen-powered vehicles, the “exhaust” produced by nanoFlowcell electric vehicles is water vapor. bi-ION, which consists of a slightly saline aqueous solution (organic and mineral salts dissolved in water) and the actual energy carriers (electrolytes), is likewise environmentally friendly in use and recycling. nanoFlowcell technology is completely non-toxic and in no way harmful to health.
Similar to a gasoline-driven car, the electrolyte solution is consumed in a nanoFlowcell-powered electric vehicle. Inside the nanoFlowcell (the actual flow cell) one positively and one negatively charged electrolyte solution is pumped past the cell membrane. A reaction – an ion exchange – takes place between the positively and negatively charged electrolyte solutions. The chemical energy contained in bi-ION is thus released as electricity, which is then used to drive the electric motors. This happens for as long as electrolytes are pumped past the membrane and react. In the case of the nanoFlowcell-driven QUANTiNO, one tank of electrolyte liquid is sufficient for more than 600 miles! Once empty, the tank must be refilled.
After the ion exchange has taken place in the nanoFlowcell, the chemical composition of the bi-ION electrolyte solution remains virtually unchanged. It is no longer reactive and is thus considered “spent” as it cannot be recharged. For mobile applications of nanoFlowcell technology such as electric vehicles, the decision was therefore taken to microscopically vaporize and release the consumed electrolyte solution while the vehicle is running. At speeds upwards of 60 mph, the holding tank for the consumed electrolyte liquid is emptied via extremely fine spray nozzles using a generator driven by the drive energy. The electrolytes and salts are filtered out mechanically beforehand. The release of the now cleanly filtered water as cold water vapor (a micro-fine mist) is entirely environmentally compatible. The filter is changed at roughly 6,000 mile intervals, with its subsequent disposal being just as environmentally compatible.
QUANT has used this technology to develop, what could very well be another game changer in the automotive industry.
The QUANTiNO and QUANT FE are not free of emissions – they still generate water as a “waste product” (as well as small quantities of recyclable electrolyte and salts), but even if all vehicles worldwide were converted to nanoFlowcell drive, the resulting water vapor emissions would have no climate-changing influence. They would produce less water vapor than the amount produced by the forests cut down year after year.
As an environmentally compatible and sustainable energy source, nanoFlowcell will make a positive contribution to the global climate. Every nanoFlowcell-driven electric vehicle that replaces a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine contributes to lowering the rise in concentration of carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide.