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sambolino44 t1_ix1ujn9 wrote

Reading the article, I felt like the person who has to scroll through pages of “It was a cool fall morning when a whiff of spice drifted through the air…” just to get to the damn recipe!


lancypancy t1_ix2liq8 wrote

Hahaha. Same, you have to scroll to the last 1/5th of the blah blah to get to any information.


thewaveishere25 t1_ix2we5d wrote

A buddy of mine once said sometimes you can tell when an article is written by someone went into journalism because they couldn’t hack it as a self-published author, and I think about it a lot


Apart_Shock OP t1_ix1eqm7 wrote

>Ambri is a Boston-area startup that’s building molten-salt batteries from calcium and antimony. The company recently announced a demonstration project deploying energy storage for Microsoft data centers, and last year it raised over $140 million to build its manufacturing capacity.
>The company says its technology could be 30-50% cheaper over its lifetime than an equivalent lithium-ion system. Molten salt batteries can also exceed 80% efficiency, meaning that a relatively low amount of energy that’s used to charge the battery is lost to heat.


Keylime29 t1_ix2ksxf wrote

Are the ingredients available domestically? As opposed to Russia China or Africa?


deepserket t1_ix2s6p5 wrote

Calcium can be found anywhere, is a component of limestone, chalk and marble.

China is the largest producer of antimony


Boring_Ad_3065 t1_ix2v9co wrote

The next step is to evolve the process to work on acrimony instead of antimony.

Once this occurs it’ll finally make sense why Elon purchased twitter and is a genius.


AGRANMA t1_ix7zwck wrote

I don't know, with the way things are going with Twitter right now that purchase seems to be very anti-money.


techno156 t1_ix2yx5z wrote

It's also in bones and seashells, the former of which is almost certainly a byproduct of the animal agriculture industry.

It might be a good way to reduce waste.


AndreLeo t1_ix326pk wrote

Unfortunately not. Recovering the calcium from bones and seashells is extremely costly and labour intensive as the raw materials don’t contain it in the form you want to have it. At the same time we have huge ressources in all sorts of calcium rich minerals and you don’t have to worry about any organic contaminants.

But I could imagine we are using bone meal as fertilizer and calcium supplement


Keylime29 t1_ix3zm13 wrote

Dammit, so still dependent on a less than friendly country


saveable t1_ix2a9i0 wrote

I hereby designate this the official “They’ve invented a new type of battery that will change EVERYTHING but about which you will never hear anything again” article for November 2022. Come back next month for a new article proclaiming a different new battery technology.


Noe_b0dy t1_ix2hlls wrote

It's molten-salt again, next month they bring back the old "cold fusion is only 20 years away" bit.


Turksarama t1_ix32eb9 wrote

It's kind of different though, molten salt "batteries" before this were really thermal storage, while this is regular old chemical storage. That means no moving parts, just sit it in place and use it like any other chemical battery.

The downside compared to most other batteries though is that the operating temperature is hundreds of degrees. The batteries need to be "thawed" before use, and if they ever freeze (which they will if they aren't used, they are insulated but still need to use the waste heat from charging/discharging cycles) they need to be thawed again. You can do this just by running power through them, but it takes a lot of energy.

These could be legitimately groundbreaking for 24 hour cycling if coupled with solar in regions with very few cloudy days, but they can't be used for anything the way lithium can.


GodG0AT t1_ix4qyi5 wrote

Molten salt batteries are nothing new they just have low energy density and have long heating phases. But very cheap and efficient like the article states. But theyve been around for years before liion


hey_rjay t1_ix4euzd wrote

Is this more efficient than some kind of fly wheel energy storage


mcoombes314 t1_ix2vjqu wrote

I thought it was normal fusion being 20 years away*, with cold fusion being further?

*I know fusion has been achieved but it doesn't go on long enough to produce meaningful amounts of energy yet


SirButcher t1_ix32sfb wrote

> with cold fusion being further?

Cold fusion is in the realm of "impossible" with an asterisk of "kind-of possible but not the way people think" as muons can be used for fusion, but creating muons uses way more energy than the fusion they can create.

Cold fusion as in getting two regular atoms like H + H to fuse together without having mind-blowingly high pressure and/or heat is not possible.


[deleted] t1_ix338go wrote

Normal fusion was 50 years away to begin with, in the 1950s. In the 90s, people were saying 25 years. Now they're saying 10. The facetious jokes and reality are converging on a point about 15-20 years away.


HenryTheWho t1_ix3jtwg wrote

ITER which is never going to produce energy to grid isn't planned for full operation until 2035. So it's gonna be up to next phase to actually build reactor that will produce electricity. Fusion isn't gonna be reality until at least 2080


[deleted] t1_ix3va13 wrote

Who's talking about ITER? Compact spherical tokamaks are racing ahead, due to the scaling law P ∝ B^4 * r^3 (oversimplification, but those are the proportions). High temperature superconductors have increased in current density and come down in cost so much since ITER was specified in the 90s they couldn't have anticipated the leapfrogging currently going on. STs can iterate faster for the same because their magnets are more powerful, so can be more compact for a given target power output. While ITER won't ignite for decades, Tokamak Energy and the like have already built several experimental reactors and Q > 1 in the lab within 10 years.


HenryTheWho t1_ix45fm1 wrote

Don't get me wrong I want fusion to happen asap but what I'm trying to tell is to curb your expectations


[deleted] t1_ix4wbsi wrote

And what I'm telling you is you're being too pessimistic. I'm not coming at this from an uninformed position, I do understand the challenges and the progress being made.


ChairForceOne t1_ix2syn0 wrote

There was a car with a molten salt battery IIRC. Thing wouldn't work if you left it unplugged over night.


Westerdutch t1_ix3223w wrote

> new type of battery

Its not even that. This is ww2 era technology and the theory existed well before that. 90% of the 'new battery technology' you read about is simply reintroducing the wheel to people who havent heard about it yet for clicks (and to milk investors). 90% of the remaining technology discussed in articles is stuff that will never work outside a lab environment and the 1% thats left might one day be interesting but is mostly just minor improvements on existing technology.


TheHiveminder t1_ix33fa9 wrote

Incorrect. Previous designs stored energy as heat, this stores energy as a chemical reaction that requires heat.


Westerdutch t1_ix3k0cf wrote

Thermal salt batteries do indeed exist but not all molten salt varieties are of the thermal kind. Check out the zebra battery for example, a very much 'chemical' molten salt battery form the 80s.


Nolobrown t1_ix1mzwy wrote

Is this the same kind of salt that is found in the ocean?


Glass_Fix7426 t1_ix1os3f wrote


Ocean salt is sodium and chloride, these are calcium and antimony.


JorisN t1_ix2ggdf wrote

Calcium and antimony can probably be found in the ocean though ;-p


cleanlaundry t1_ix59e3f wrote

Damn, I was really hoping this could be an antidote to desalination concentrating salt in the ocean


knoxvilleroomservice t1_ix1ogig wrote

Pretty sure it is. That was the goal behind the tech, and it's gonna be revolutionary, especially for the power grid!


MockeryOfANoble t1_ix1o23l wrote

Yeah, it stores the energy as heat. I believe it's harder to get it started but easier to stay charged


paulfdietz t1_ix1xjgl wrote

No, it does not store the energy as heat.


ZorbaTHut t1_ix2b6b6 wrote

Yeah, there are systems that use molten salt to store heat, so I understand the confusion . . . but this isn't one of them, it's a chemical process that only functions at high temperatures.


AspiringMurse96 t1_ix1pbgl wrote

The term "salt" by itself is very general, I wish it was used less.


PagingDrHuman t1_ix1s3ou wrote

Well "salt" describes essentially a form of chemical bond. And there's tones of chemicals that form via that type of bond. If you get into the material science, the different salts will have specific names to denote their chemical formula.


Initial_E t1_ix2245q wrote

When an acid and a base love each other very much…


chin-ki-chaddi t1_ix23svg wrote

Salt is the result of violent, hate-sex between Acid and Base.


mtnman7610 t1_ix241ar wrote

Wow this comment is gold and made me actually laugh out loud and say wtf


Niro5 t1_ix2djjx wrote

This comment is pure cesium auride.


RevRRR1 t1_ix2edtr wrote

I came here to repeat a preceding comment with different wording. All of y'all beat me to it.


drumsonfire t1_ix2ll58 wrote

A salt in battery. Seems like dangerous technology.


[deleted] t1_ix2r9wy wrote



hukep t1_ix2rivs wrote

It's exciting to observe battery wars. Whether you like electric cars or not, energy storage is crucial for humanity survival in a long run.


5c044 t1_ix2xgxc wrote

Suer hot and 80% efficient must mean its also super insulated. For reference lithium batteries can be up to 99% efficient. I guess efficiency becomes less important if the power comes from renewable sources and the batteries are cheap. When excess renewable energy is available it makes absolute sense to use it rather than waste it.


james1234cb t1_ix3bysi wrote

Yup, cost is a big factor. 100% efficient batteries costing $40,000 or 80% efficient for $3,000 ....i ll go with the $3,000.


Hellscape_Instigator t1_ix2b0hx wrote

Weren’t molten sodium batteries already a thing and proven to be really bad convenience-wise. Like, I think the Th!nk City had a molten sodium battery and they later changed to Lithium Ion because if you left the car sitting unplugged for too long (even if it had plenty of range) the battery would solidify and permanently kill itself.

Of course, the main claim of this article was that it’d be useful for grid backups. It makes sense in theory. The battery would only be “unplugged” when it’s being discharged and used, but I still can’t help but feel like a battery that has a time limit alongside a capacity limit is a bad idea, especially in an emergency situation. Also, places with extremely cold climates or bad winters would be even worse off.


Oddyssis t1_ix2g07e wrote

Seems like that's a matter of just building the battery so it turns on if it's ever getting too cool to run up some heat. Not efficient for things that might sit inactive for a while but I'm sure it has uses


mludd t1_ix2rcll wrote

> Weren’t molten sodium batteries already a thing and proven to be really bad convenience-wise.

Yup, Aging Wheels did a video on the Th!nk City and mentioned this issue. Basically, if you left your Th!nk City unplugged overnight the battery would freeze and stop working until you re-melted the sodium (by charging it).

So usable in warmer climates if you regularly plugged it in but otherwise a bit of a hassle.


AndreLeo t1_ix32j6d wrote

Slight correction, it’s less about melting the sodium than melting the salt (the electrolyte) here. Whilst the battery could perfectly handle the electrodes in a solid state, unfortunately most solids conduct ions barely at all - which also is the reason why developing solid state batteries is so hard


Just_wanna_talk t1_ix3ulpk wrote

I feel like it would be more practical to use these batteries as part of a renewable energy power grid for storage for night time use and times with low wind. Need giant storage capacity for cheap and it will likely be more feasible than lithium.


Teripid t1_ix2ip3z wrote

Right and the cell size is pretty irrelevant since that doesn't impact usage just replacement, etc.

Main use would likely be supporting large scale solar / wind that can suffer outages but this specific usage and tech seems to be really early.

Cold climate likely isn't much more than extra cost for insulation or external structure.


TristesteLivet t1_ix2w3o5 wrote

The engineers from Think still think of salt batteries fondly because of how stable it was compared to other battery chemistries. Made it a lot safer if you crashed.


AsIfIKnowWhatImDoin t1_ix2sum8 wrote

Molten salts really taking off lately. Problem is they're kinda difficult to work with and test, but these problems are getting worked out. Energy output from salts is IMPRESSIVE and would be a game changer.


FuturologyBot t1_ix1iybf wrote

The following submission statement was provided by /u/Apart_Shock:

>Ambri is a Boston-area startup that’s building molten-salt batteries from calcium and antimony. The company recently announced a demonstration project deploying energy storage for Microsoft data centers, and last year it raised over $140 million to build its manufacturing capacity.
>The company says its technology could be 30-50% cheaper over its lifetime than an equivalent lithium-ion system. Molten salt batteries can also exceed 80% efficiency, meaning that a relatively low amount of energy that’s used to charge the battery is lost to heat.

Please reply to OP's comment here:


Endward22 t1_ix2ubmw wrote

I've heart of this long before and we are still waiting. I guess, the new battery technology is not that easy at all.


But it would be great with different manners. For instance, the German Energiewende.


Doktor_Earrape t1_ix33qqk wrote

Every new technology has kinks that get worked out over time. We'll get there, and when we do it'll be great


Jam_Ba-La-Ya t1_ix3184q wrote

Ambri aren't salt batteries, but liquid metal. Why is this article calling them salt batteries?


AndreLeo t1_ix32qmt wrote

Because there’s no difference between „liquid metal“ and molten salt [batteries]. Except if you use near room temperature melting eutectic alloys as one electrode, the metal melting is merely a „side product“ of using a molten salt electrolyte


Jam_Ba-La-Ya t1_ix337rh wrote

But they're not salt. Ambri is high temp metal in liquid phase, transforming from an alloy and back.

High temperature is necessary to enable the transformation between states. The system must always be molten. The process is reversed by reversing polarity. One way it inputs electrons, the other it outputs electrons.

Molten salt batteries are literally molten salt, the heat is used to heat steam to turn turbines.

None of the literature or videos on ambri mentions salt at all.


AndreLeo t1_ix3nvdo wrote

No, you are factually incorrect here. Molten salt batteries, as the name implies, are still batteries aka galvanic cells.

Or as wiki itself puts it: > Molten-salt batteries are a class of battery that uses molten salts as an electrolyte and offers both a high energy density and a high power density.

The Ambri cells ARE molten salt batteries, that doesn’t imply anything about the state of matter for the electrodes. The cells have a molten salt electrolyte (obviously, there aren’t many alternatives at these temperatures) and have at least one molten metal electrode. It doesn’t matter if it’s direct electrodeposition or alloying. Likewise Aluminium ion batteries would still be that, no matter if they use tin metal to form an alloy or if they use direct electrodeposition from say an ionic liquid.

And to back it up additionally, see Wiki again:

> Ambri, Inc. is an American startup company which aims to produce molten-salt batteries for energy storage in wind and solar power systems.[1] In 2016 it had thirty-seven employees.[2]

But thermal energy storage by utilizing the infinitely high heat capacity during solid-liquid transitions of salts is definitely a thing as well.


Lactoo t1_ix41nvm wrote

In Denmark they are re-furbishig an old coal power plant to store enerygy from wind and solar power with hot salt.


Elvis-Tech t1_ix482gt wrote

Molten salt shows promise when weight and volume are not a big issue. But they arent and energy dense as lithium batteries


FullMaxPowerStirner t1_ix4r4j7 wrote

> The batteries operate at high temperatures, over 500°C

Does this mean they gotta be heated at over 500 degrees C, or that they're producing heat. In the first case that sounds like a pretty dumb idea for a lithium alternative, but in the second that'd be revolutionary!

So which one?


EvereveO t1_ix30brm wrote

I’ve been reading about Ambri for a few years now. This isn’t at all new. I’m pretty sure I even found out about the company through Reddit.


Jam_Ba-La-Ya t1_ix31ka7 wrote

Why can't it be an ongoing story? They're starting to see uptake, and it's an important tech to keep an eye on.


SadViande t1_ix28m02 wrote

Saving this for when the dudes that did it mysteriously disappear


HDSpiele t1_ix1vgza wrote

Sigh this seams like an awful idea first if the battery breaks wich batteries do all the time you have molten salt in your room. Second the molten salt battery has been tried before in the Nevada desert in a massive solar power plant and it was plagued by issues so be very very very sceptical.


-Ch4s3- t1_ix22l8h wrote

This is a totally different thing than molten salt solar. It’s a calcium and antimony salt first, and it’s storing chemical energy, not energy as heat.


Jam_Ba-La-Ya t1_ix31hfx wrote

Ugh. These things are extremely large and would be deployed on industrial sites, not your bachelor pad.