nanoFlowcell® is currently the most innovative and powerful energy carrier for mobile and stationary electric applications. Unlike conventional batteries, the energy of the nanoFlowcell® is provided in the form of liquid electrolytes (bi-ION®), which can be stored outside the cell itself. As with regular flow batteries, the positively and negatively charged electrolyte liquids are stored in two separate tanks and pumped through a transducer (the actual cell of the nanoFlowcell system) in separate circuits, just like in a traditional flow cell.
Here, the two electrolyte circuits are only separated by a permeable membrane. When the positive and negative electrolyte solutions pass along either side of the transducer membrane, an ion exchange takes place. This converts the chemical energy bound in bi-ION® into electricity, which in turn is made immediately available to electrical consumers.
Thanks to the separation of energy converter and energy storage, the amount of energy stored in a nanoFlowcell® is no longer dependent on the size of the cell. This is where a flow cell differs from traditional battery types.
With a nanoFlowcell®, the amount of energy provided depends on the electrolyte concentration in the electrolyte liquid on the one hand, and on the volume of the electrolyte tanks on the other hand. nanoFlowcell® technology can therefore be flexibly adapted to a wide variety of applications thanks to its unlimited scalability.
What is special about the nanoFlowcell® is that it no longer requires lengthy recharging like conventional batteries or flow cells. Instead, the used bi-ION® electrolyte fluid can simply be refilled.
Our nanoFlowcell technology could save an annual 19,250 megatons of CO2 from the combustion of fossil fuels in road transport alone.
That is 75% of the CO2 emissions generated through transportation and traffic worldwide.
In mobile applications, such as the QUANT electric vehicles, used electrolyte fluid is first filtered to remove the dissolved salts and electrolytes. The filter has to be replaced about every 10,000 kilometres and can then be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.
A generator powered by the energy from driving ensures that the remaining water is atomised into water vapour during the journey and released into the atmosphere without harming the environment. The electrolyte tanks are drained during the journey just like the tank in conventional vehicles with a combustion engine. Refilling the empty electrolyte tanks is similar to the refuelling process of a regular petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.
nanoFlowcell® technology is fully eco-friendly and harmless to health. Our nanoFlowcells are manufactured in a very efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly process using common substances and raw materials that are readily available in large quantities.
Neither the cells themselves nor the bi-ION® electrolyte solution contain precious metals or rare earth metals. All raw materials required for the nanoFlowcell® and its electrolytes can be harvested sustainably, used without any health risks and then disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.
Thanks to its extended service life, the nanoFlowcell® also sets an example when it comes to recycling raw materials. For instance, our nanoFlowcells eliminate the problem of power loss associated with conventional batteries, as they show no memory effect even after 10,000 charging cycles. This means that a nanoFlowcell® can handle up to ten times as many charging cycles as conventional Li-Ion battery systems (Li-Ion battery: approx. 1,000 charging cycles). In a car, that would correspond to a range of around 10,000,000 kilometres, thus far exceeding the service life of modern cars. What’s more, the amount of self-discharge when the cell is not in use is negligible.
Another advantage of the nanoFlowcell® over other battery systems is that it is easy to monitor its state of charge, as there is only one electrolyte. There is no need for equalisation charges like in conventional Li-Ion or Li-Po systems. Hazards that can occur in a battery due to unwanted reactions or deep discharge can be technically ruled out with the nanoFlowcell.
In contrast to an internal combustion engine, the efficiency of the nanoFlowcell® stands at over 90 percent; in electric mobility applications, the operating temperature is only between 90ºC and 130ºC. Moreover, the entire nanoFlowcell® system is very reliable and requires little maintenance, as it has no moving parts except for the electrolyte pumps.
bi-ION® – energy carrier for tomorrow’s electricity
bi-ION® is the brand name for nanoFlowcell’s proprietary electrolyte liquid. It consists of salts, water and the actual energy carriers – specially designed molecules. In a nanoFlowcell®, the chemical energy bound in bi-ION® is converted into electrical energy.
The electrolyte solution has a power density comparable to modern lithium-ion batteries, but an energy density that is five times higher. bi-ION® is the perfect propellant for environmentally compatible and sustainable electric drives as well as clean energy for stationary and mobile applications.
bi-ION® is one of our most important innovations and crucial to the performance characteristics of the nanoFlowcell system. Through years of research, we have succeeded in developing special charge carriers that give our electrolyte liquid a significantly higher power and energy density than any liquid battery currently available on the market.
In our digital simulation lab, we conducted research on new molecular structures and mechanisms for transporting the charge. Our digital simulation capabilities shortened the development time for bi-ION® significantly, allowing us to synthesise an initial physical model and carry out in-vivo testing in the space of just five years.
The charge carrier we have developed permits a significantly higher concentration than previous electrolytes in conventional flow cells. Unlike the electrolyte tanks of stationary systems, which have a volume of thousands of litres, we only need the tank volume of a conventional car to achieve the performance of our QUANTiNO 48VOLT.
At the current stage of development, bi-ION® has an energy density of 600 Wh per litre. Compared with lithium-ion batteries of the kind used in most modern electric vehicles, a nanoFlowcell® running on bi-ION delivers sufficient energy for five times the range of a conventional electric vehicle.
Unlike conventional energy carriers such as petrol, diesel, hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries, bi-ION® is not harmful to health or the environment and is neither flammable nor explosive. Furthermore, bi-ION® can be produced in a sustainable and environmentally compatible manner. Industrial production of the electrolyte liquid is much less expensive than refining fossil fuels or producing and using 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 in-situ all over the world (given the appropriate production equipment).
Refilling nanoFlowcell-powered electric vehicles with bi-ION®
At present, flow cells are generally only known as garage-sized constructions for stationary energy storage in wind turbines and solar systems. But with our nanoFlowcell®, we have managed to bring a flow cell down to the size of a briefcase and at the same time increase the energy density of the electrolytes by a factor of ten. The development of nanoFlowcell® has thus rendered flow cell technology powerful and mobile, opening up completely new technical perspectives for a wide range of applications.