ORLANDO, Fla. - Researchers connect the ends of a mechanical device and a fan starts to spin. The simple setup demonstrates the potential of a new kind of battery - one powered by seawater.
"We try to use seawater as electrolytes and replace the lithium-ion battery, which currently has a lot of safety issues," said University of Central Florida Professor Yang Yang.
Professor Yang has been working on the seawater battery for about a year and a half. He said these batteries would only cost about 10% of what a lithium-ion battery does. They also recharge 10 times faster and don't have the potential to catch fire or explode like lithium-ion batteries can.
"Because seawater is free, there's no safety issues there," Yang said.
Yang said they were also environmentally-friendly and could be made to the same sizes and shapes as the batteries currently in our devices and electric cars.
"You can assemble the seawater battery into different shapes, different kinds of structure, configuration... depends on how you want to use it," he said.
Interestingly, Yang said filtered seawater worked best with his battery, not just water with salt, because of the other minerals in it.
His battery also uses a zinc alloy to create the electric charge. He's currently looking for an investor or company to help his batteries power the future.