. 24/7 Space News .
Ions in molten salts can go 'against the flow'
by Staff Writers
Uppsala, Sweden (SPX) Jan 28, 2021

stock image only

In a new article published in the scientific journal Communications Chemistry, a research group at Uppsala University show, using computer simulations, that ions do not always behave as expected. In their research on molten salts, they were able to see that, in some cases, the ions in the salt mixture they were studying affect one another so much that they may even move in the "wrong" direction - that is, towards an electrode with the same charge.

Research on the next-generation batteries is under way in numerous academic disciplines. Researchers at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University have developed and studied a model for alkali halides, of which ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is the best-known example.

If these substances are heated to several hundred degrees Celsius, they become electrically conductive liquids known as "molten salts". Molten salts are already used in energy contexts: for concentrated solar power in the Sahara desert and as electrolytes in molten-salt batteries that can be used for large-scale storage of electricity.

Despite their wide-spread use, some of the molten salt's basic properties are not yet fully understood. When it comes to batteries, optimising conductivity is a frequent goal. To produce a battery that is as efficient as possible, knowing what happens to individual ions is vital. This is what the Uppsala researchers are now investigating with their simulations.

"In the long run, the purpose of this research is to develop physical models for biological molecules. But these salts are relatively simple and make a good test bed," says Professor David van der Spoel, the group leader for the modelling project.

However, the researchers' simulations show that the salts are not as simple as they may seem at the first glance, and that they have some interesting properties, especially if various alkali halides are mixed together.

In a simplified theory, ions that move in an electric field (for example in a battery) do not interact with each other and are affected solely by the electric field. In their newly published study, the researchers were able to demonstrate that this is not always true. The study shows how, in a mixture of lithium ions with ions of fluoride, chloride and iodide, the lighter anions, fluoride and chloride, move towards the negative cathode along with the lithium ions in a (simulated) battery electrolyte.

"The negative ions are attracted both by the lithium ions and by the positive anode, and the net effect of these forces makes the lighter anions move slowly towards the cathode, since the positive lithium ions are also moving in that direction," says the first author of the study, Marie-Madeleine Walz.

In their continued research, the group will develop a water model to study the interaction of water molecules with ions. Their investigation will include, for example, how the properties of ions are affected by an electric field when there is water in the mixture.

Research paper

Related Links
Uppsala University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Researchers construct molecular nanofibers that are stronger than steel
Boston MA (SPX) Jan 26, 2021
Self-assembly is ubiquitous in the natural world, serving as a route to form organized structures in every living organism. This phenomenon can be seen, for instance, when two strands of DNA - without any external prodding or guidance - join to form a double helix, or when large numbers of molecules combine to create membranes or other vital cellular structures. Everything goes to its rightful place without an unseen builder having to put all the pieces together, one at a time. For the past couple ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Bridenstine leaves NASA, calls for unity in space, science efforts

Tourism on track in the world's largest cave

Pandemic drags German admin out of the 1980s

Glenn's Power Systems Facility has supported Station research for decades

SpaceX launches first Starlink satellite mission of 2021

New Year, New Record for Australia's Gilmour Space

Florida's Space Coast the Number 1 Launch Site in the World in 2020

Branson's Virgin Orbit reaches space for first time

Six things to know about NASA's Mars helicopter on its way to Mars

Crater study offers window on temperatures 3.5 billion years ago

Mystery of Martian glaciers revealed

Analyzing different solid states of water on other planets and moons

China's space station core module, cargo craft pass factory review

Key modules for China's next space station ready for launch

Major space station components cleared for operations

Chinese space enterprise gears up for record-breaking 40-plus launches in 2021

China launches new mobile telecommunication satellite

Astronauts to boost European connectivity

Statement on Satellite Constellations by German Astronomical Society

OneWeb secures investment from Softbank and Hughes Network Systems

GameStop extends wild ride on Wall Street

Physicists propose a new theory to explain one dimensional quantum liquids formation

Record-breaking laser may help test Einstein's theory of relativity

U.S. military uses 3D printing to make N95 respirators

Simulating evolution to understand a hidden switch

A 'super-puff' planet like no other

Astronomers finally measure polarized light from exoplanet

A rocky planet around one of our galaxy's oldest stars

Juno mission expands into the future

Dark Storm on Neptune reverses direction, possibly shedding a fragment

The 'Great' Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

NASA's Juno Spacecraft Updates Quarter-Century Jupiter Mystery

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.