Can decomposed peat be used for making cheap Electric Vehicle batteries?


Representational image. Peat extraction in Estonia. Scientists in that country are studying methods of using peat for making cheaper batteries for electric vehicles

World over scientists are looking for resources which are available in abundance and are cheap, to cut down costs. Among one such attempts being made is by scientists at an Estonian University who suggest that peat – available in plenty in northern Europe – can be used to make sodium-ion batteries cheaply which are used in electric vehicles.

It is vital to note that the sodium-ion batteries do not have costly lithium, cobalt or nickel, and these types of batteries are being studied by battery makers seriously. The aim is to replace lithium-ion model batteries with these.

Now researchers and experts of Estonia’s Tartu University have disclosed that they have found a method to use peat in sodium-ion batteries, reducing the overall cost considerably. The technology is still in its infancy but promises much.

Enn Lust, head of the Institute of Chemistry at the university remarked: “Peat is a very cheap raw material - it doesn’t cost anything, really.”

The process of using peat entails heating decomposed peat in a furnace at a high temperature for two to three hours and in order to fine tune the method, the University wants the Government to help in setting up a small-scale factory.

Malt is dried over the peat fire by Scotland distillers to flavour whisky while in some northern European countries, it is used as fuel in homes, factories or as fertiliser.

The Estonian scientists have assured that they will be using decomposed peat, a waste product that is usually discarded when traditional extraction methods are used instead of mining it.

Also read: Bhopal's go-green drive takes wings with new waste-to-fuel facility