[FoRK] Redox battery for EVs is recharged in minutes through electrolyte exchange

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Oct 22 02:45:13 PDT 2009

On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 02:07:27AM -0700, Stephen Williams wrote:

> You didn't list the other key component on your patent application: What 
> is this boxed marked "MOH [1]" where electricity goes in at the "gas" 
> station and methanol comes out?

Unfortunately, that is already accounted for: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol
Sadly, very little magic involved.

Extra bonus points for making a direct methane oxidation to methanol
microreactor for your cellar though, running off the natural gas pipe.

But wait, if you have a mild methanol electrosynthesis process from
air or flue CO2 and water, why not not putting that box at home, and
run it off your roof PV surplus? What do you need a gas station for,
> One of the main problems with an all-electric vehicle is fast charging, 

Why do you need fast charging, if your car is parked in the garage at
home or in the company parking lot? Billions of EUR are being spent right
now installing charging stations everywhere in France alone.

> or charging at all.  Swapping out a liquid battery is clever, if you can 

A liquid battery which has <0.23 MJ/kg density (diesel: 38.6 MJ/l, gasoline:
34.2 MJ/l, methanol 15.6 MJ/l, Li-ion 0.8-0.9 MJ/kg, this liquid thing,
purportedly one quarter of that) and needs to be pumped out
and recycled in nonexisting infrastructure is the opposite of clever. It's
hard enough to retrofit existing gas stations for a methanol pump.

> get it to work.  Any fuel cell fuel is great if you can make it and get 
> it to "gas" stations more efficiently than petrol.

Either you make it onsite from natural gas, or via photovoltaics, or
you wheel it in the regular way. You just need a tank and a pumping station
which is methanol-certified.
> [This spot for a wild and crazy idea.]:
> Create tracking intense light projecting zones on streets, highways, and 
> especially hills.  Use grates, mirrors, whatever.  As photo-rechargeable 
> cars drive over the charging zones, focused, high intensity light 
> illuminates just the receptors on the bottom of cars.  The intense pulse 
> is captured by multi-layer / fractal / nano receivers and the impulse is 
> stored in capacitor banks that slowly drain into the batteries / 
> wheels.  Presto: an optical (or microwave, or even inductive) "third 
> rail".  Probable power scale mismatch, probably safety issues...

Or you could just use a PV-driven power rail, with automatic
> [1] MOH = Magic occurs here.

I much prefer MeOH to MOH.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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