High Potential Batteries: Is Stripping Multiple Electrons the Key?

In summary, the conversation discussed the possibility of creating a high potential battery by stripping off multiple electrons from atoms, using lithium as an example. The theoretical possibility of storing over 5 kilowatt hours of energy potential in 7 grams of lithium by stripping all 3 electrons was also mentioned. The conversation then shifted to discussing the challenges of removing 30 electrons from an atom, including the high affinity of ions for electrons and the potential for dielectric breakdown in capacitors. The difference between batteries and capacitors was also clarified, with a battery having two sides with different chemical reactions producing positive and negative ions. The conversation ended with a mention of finding or creating an insulator that does not want to give up its electrons.
  • #1
Barwick
5
0
When looking through the ionization energies/mol of various elements, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be possible to create an incredibly high potential battery by stripping off 10, 20, 30, or more electrons from each atom on the positive side of the battery.

I suppose I should ask first, is this what is done in typical batteries? Do they strip off pretty much every available electron? It would seem not because 1 mole of lithium, weighing roughly 7 grams, would have roughly 19 MJ of potential if all 3 electrons were stripped off it, but only 500 kJ if only the first electron were stripped.

Just looking at a AA battery for example, assuming it puts out say 2 volts... If it has a 2000 mAh capacity, that's 4 Watt-hours of power stored. That only requires something like 0.028 grams of actively used Lithium in the battery (assuming only one electron is stripped), or 0.0007 grams (assuming all 3 electrons are stripped).

I guess I'm asking, is it really theoretically possible to store over 5 kilowatt hours of energy potential in 7 grams of lithium by stripping all 3 electrons?

The next logical step on this question is this: The 29th ionization energy of Copper is 1.1 GJ/mol :eek: - The 28th ionization energy is 1 GJ/mol, the 27th is 250 MJ/mol, and so on... Adding up all of those from the 1st through the 29th ionization energy, you've got a CRAPTON of potential energy if you stripped 29 electrons off of 1 Mole of copper. Like, we're talking on the order of Megawatt hours of potential in 63 grams of copper.

Is this theoretically possible? If so, is it "just" an engineering problem that is preventing the development of batteries like this? What all is limiting this development?
 
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  • #2
Okay, so you want to remove 30 electrons from an atom. What's your reduction half-reaction? You've only described half a battery.
 
  • #3
lmfao, so you want a few coulombs in your hand?

The force between the + charged atoms at the anode and the - charged atoms at the cathode will be about a zillion^3 Newtons.
 
  • #4
in my opinion theoretically the battery would be possible but highly unstable due to the high + charge on the atoms.also removing so many electrons isn't a joke.
 
  • #5
alxm said:
Okay, so you want to remove 30 electrons from an atom. What's your reduction half-reaction? You've only described half a battery.

That's the other half of my question, but the post was getting incredibly long already, and then NOBODY would have read it.

Honestly I don't know yet, I'm still learning this stuff, that's why I'm here. I'm just theorizing right now. Does the other half of the reaction have to have literally the same energy stored with the same # of electrons?

Is there a way to force a potential well to hold the electrons indefinitely? Store the electrons in a superconductor?

Half of this stuff (maybe all of it) I'm saying may be total crap, but I'm just brainstorming right now.

Curl said:
lmfao, so you want a few coulombs in your hand?

The force between the + charged atoms at the anode and the - charged atoms at the cathode will be about a zillion^3 Newtons.

So, that meaning, I'd need a REALLY really^4 good insulator between the two? :)
I should clarify... Partially I'm just curious in the stuff and like thinking about what would be possible... if it's only engineering problems, then I can see stuff like this being solved some day, even if only for a niche market.

The reason I'm mostly curious is I'm writing a fictional novel that I want to have SOME root in reality... a regular guy would look at it and think "oh that's cool" and not even think about the science fiction aspect (which is minimal in this book), and a scientist would read that portion twice and think "that's absurdly hard to do, but I guess it could work..." I mean, crap, warping space is, in theory, at least possible to do, so folks watching Star Trek think don't just tune out. Heck, back in the 60's, "cellphones" were theoretically possible like they had in the show, and today they're a reality. Now that one was a lot closer than most other stuff, but you get the idea...
 
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  • #6
Okay, a capacitor is what you are talking about, not a battery.

The insulator between the plates is called a dielectric, and the thinner the dielectric the more charge can be put on the capacitor per volt.

Problem is, the thinner you make the dielectric, the weaker it is. Capacitors blow by what's called "dielectric breakdown" and it fries the capacitor plus you get sparks and boom.

Removing 30 electrons from an atom is basically impossible because the ion will have such high affinity for electrons, it will rip them off anything.
 
  • #7
Curl said:
Okay, a capacitor is what you are talking about, not a battery.

The insulator between the plates is called a dielectric, and the thinner the dielectric the more charge can be put on the capacitor per volt.

Problem is, the thinner you make the dielectric, the weaker it is. Capacitors blow by what's called "dielectric breakdown" and it fries the capacitor plus you get sparks and boom.

Removing 30 electrons from an atom is basically impossible because the ion will have such high affinity for electrons, it will rip them off anything.

Ah I think I see the difference a little more clearly now. A battery has effectively two "sides", one with a chemical reaction producing negative ions, and the other with a chemical reaction producing positive ions.

Though I don't quite understand why a thinner dielectric means more charge per volt. I presume the inverse is true, the thicker the dielectric means less charge and more voltage? In other words, the same total power capacity?

If that's the case, I think that might work for my purposes. The problem then becomes "finding" (or making up) an insulator that doesn't want to give up its electrons at all?
 
  • #8
Electrostatic repulsion resulting from removing even 10 electrons from each atom on one side of the battery would cause the thing to disintegrate with enough energy to cause an equivalent of a small nuclear bomb explosion.
 
  • #9
Barwick said:
Ah I think I see the difference a little more clearly now. A battery has effectively two "sides", one with a chemical reaction producing negative ions, and the other with a chemical reaction producing positive ions.

Though I don't quite understand why a thinner dielectric means more charge per volt.

Let me tell a bit about the difference between a battery and a capacitor.

Both are used as storage of energy. Batteries for longterm storage, you can shelve a battery; capacitors are commonly used in building circuits for oscillating current. (Oscillations up to millions of cycles per second.)

In the case of an inactive battery only a very smal proportion of the atoms has an electron less or an electron more. When inactive the chemical reaction has no opportunity to proceed. It's only when a current is allowed to run that the chemical reaction "goes into gear", replenishing electric potential energy. (Drawing a current drains electric potential energy, the chemical reaction replenishes that by converting chemical potential energy.)The operating principle of a capacitor does not involve a chemical reaction. The most simple version of a capacitor is two metal plates (two disks for example) as close together as possible. This capacitor is charged with electric energy by moving electrons from one plate to the other. The more electrons you relocate, the more electric energy you store. So capacitor charging does not involve ionization. In a metal there is a valence band that allows one or more of the metal's outer electrons to roam freely through the solid. The electron distribution acts somewhat like a gas. In a capacitor one side is depleted of electrons, the other side is enriched.

Putting the plates close to each other has advantages. In particular, you can fill the gap with an insulator with special dielectric properties. A dielectric suitable for this type of capacitor has the following property: an electric field from outside can cause electric charge inside the dielectric to shift a fraction of an atom's size, but the material is so sturdy that the electric charge cannot migrate. The negatively charged capacitor shifts negative charge to itself, the positively charged capacitor place shifts positive charge. You get an internal strain in the dielectric that acts as energy storage.

There are all kinds of ingenious capacitor designs. There are small, highly chargable capacitors, that are almost spongelike. Myriads of cavities maximize surface area. These capacitors are designed to be self-healing. If there is a weak spot then a trickle current will run through there, and that trickle current causes a chemical reaction that re-insulates the weak area. (If the current is more than a trickle the capacitor will burn; the self-healing is only effective up to a point.)Capacitor engineers hope to find a way of manipulating materials on nano-scale, to create capacitors that will have ten times more capacity per unit of weight then the current best capacitors have. Capacitors with capabilities like that are referred to as ultra-capacitors. This kind of research is vigorously pursued, as it is deemed achievable. So far no breakthrough though.

If one company would succeed years sooner than others then that company is sure to become the biggest company in the world.

Everything would be running on ultra-capacitors then. Cars would be fitted with ultra-capacitors instead of batteries. Petrol stations would be converted to Energy stations. Using power from the grid the Energy station charges up banks of capacitors. A car pulls in, and the driver can recharge his capacitor in minutes. Capacitors can be charged up very fast; the limiting factor is how fast the electric energy can be pumped in; but you'll need a hell of a cable to carry that kind of energy. (Charging up the capacitor at home will take longer. A household can draw only so much power from the grid.)

As I said, so far no breakthrough. It may turn out to be impossible, that's an unknown.
 
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  • #10
Wow, now that was a great reply Cleonis. Not that the others weren't good, but that helped a ton.

Also, K^2 your point was a good point, I hadn't thought of that. The closer the plates are together, the more electrostatic repulsion there is going to be.

Question, having a very small dielectric between the plates, is that just a "bonus" or is that absolutely necessary to the design of a capacitor? What I mean is, what if the positive and negative sides were well enough insulated, and they were say 10cm apart from each other. The electrostatic repulsion would be much lower than if they were 0.1mm apart, correct? There should be more than enough energy stored by stripping the insane number of electrons, such that a "bonus" from a small dielectric wouldn't be necessary, right?
 
  • #11
Barwick said:
Wow, now that was a great reply Cleonis. Not that the others weren't good, but that helped a ton.

Also, K^2 your point was a good point, I hadn't thought of that. The closer the plates are together, the more electrostatic repulsion there is going to be.

Question, having a very small dielectric between the plates, is that just a "bonus" or is that absolutely necessary to the design of a capacitor? What I mean is, what if the positive and negative sides were well enough insulated, and they were say 10cm apart from each other. The electrostatic repulsion would be much lower than if they were 0.1mm apart, correct? There should be more than enough energy stored by stripping the insane number of electrons, such that a "bonus" from a small dielectric wouldn't be necessary, right?

Hi Barwick,

Of course I went on at length in my previous post because by the looks of it ultra-capacitors are a perfect fit for your purposes.

The plates of a capacitor are charged with opposite charges, so the plates are attracting each other. Having the plates close to each other helps in itself, even if there is just a vacuum between the plates. (I'm shaky on the details here, hopefully someone will correct me if memory is deserting me.)

I suppose something like this is at work. To charge up a capacitor there must be an electric connection between the two plates, to pump electrons from one plate to the other. When the positive plate is very close to the negative plate then the positive charge in the positive plate pulls at the electrons in the negatively charged plate, with the effect of keeping the electrons there. Tendency to flow back is reduced.

Now, if you simply connect the two plates of a capacitor with a conducting wire, and no barrier to electron flow, then the capacitor will discharge. Still, the reduction of tendency to flow back is what gives a capacitor the capacity to accumulate energy.

A suitable dielectric (rather than vacuum) enhances the capacitor's performance.

Plate capacitors are the crudest of capacitors, I'm only describing them because they are the simplest devices which can act as capacitors. To visualize the highest capacity capacitors think of swiss cheese, with all the cavities inside connected. It is as if you have two solid objects that have penetrated each other in myriad ways, creating a boundary surface between the two that is many, many times the physical dimensions of the capacitor.
 
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  • #12
Gotcha. And good catch on the repulsion/attraction... so the material on the negative side would be repulsive of the other material on the negative side, essentially every atom in there hates its neighbor, and same story on the positive side.

So in theory, a long, skinny wire with a "perfect" insulator around it, running back and forth through a solid chunk of some other solid material, that would be a very high capacity capacitor.
 
  • #13
Barwick said:
So in theory, a long, skinny wire with a "perfect" insulator around it, running back and forth through a solid chunk of some other solid material, that would be a very high capacity capacitor.

I expect that the efforts to develop a nano-engineered capacitor use an architecture that is in a sense analogous to the structure of lungs. Our airpipe divides and subdivides and subsubdivides, down to alveoli that are the size of cells, and bloodvessels divide down to capillaries that surround the bubbles.

What I'm trying to convey is an idea of two intensively branching structures that are completely intertwined. That way if a connection breaks somewhere the loss is negligable.
 
  • #14
Cleonis said:
I expect that the efforts to develop a nano-engineered capacitor use an architecture that is in a sense analogous to the structure of lungs. Our airpipe divides and subdivides and subsubdivides, down to alveoli that are the size of cells, and bloodvessels divide down to capillaries that surround the bubbles.

What I'm trying to convey is an idea of two intensively branching structures that are completely intertwined. That way if a connection breaks somewhere the loss is negligable.

Fullerine Carbon Nanotubes.
 
  • #15
I was wondering about the same thing for sometime. I understand that my intuition could be lame given your knowledge.

Why can't we take a piece of metal, say Zinc, insulate it completely with Teflon and apply strong electric potential to strip the first two valence electrons from that. Earth will be used as a sink for electrons in this case. Now we have highly charged battery that will create a current when connected to Earth again.

Can this be done?
 
  • #16
praveenbm5 said:
I was wondering about the same thing for sometime. I understand that my intuition could be lame given your knowledge.

Why can't we take a piece of metal, say Zinc, insulate it completely with Teflon and apply strong electric potential to strip the first two valence electrons from that. Earth will be used as a sink for electrons in this case. Now we have highly charged battery that will create a current when connected to Earth again.

Can this be done?

You would actually have more of a primitive capacitor. A battery works via chemical reaction. This would rely on any reaction, but by removing and adding electrons themselves. As such, I don't see any benefit over this than standard capacitors. To properly engineer and construct a capacitor you would have to figure in the dielectric breakdown point, the voltage and current output, and a hundred other things.
 
  • #17
Drakkith said:
You would actually have more of a primitive capacitor. A battery works via chemical reaction. This would rely on any reaction, but by removing and adding electrons themselves. As such, I don't see any benefit over this than standard capacitors. To properly engineer and construct a capacitor you would have to figure in the dielectric breakdown point, the voltage and current output, and a hundred other things.

If I get the math right, one mole of Zinc, which is roughly 66gms in weight needs 2639 kJ of energy to give up the outer two valence electrons. Consequently it stores that energy in itself if we can minimize charge decay. So we end up storing 0.73 kwh (2639 kJ) of energy in 66 grams of material which is great.

Correct me please!
 
  • #18
praveenbm5 said:
If I get the math right, one mole of Zinc, which is roughly 66gms in weight needs 2639 kJ of energy to give up the outer two valence electrons. Consequently it stores that energy in itself if we can minimize charge decay. So we end up storing 0.73 kwh (2639 kJ) of energy in 66 grams of material which is great.

Correct me please!

And how would you keep the zinc from flying apart due to electrostatic repulsion or prevent ionization of anything insulating it? Remember that it is the valence electrons that govern most of the chemical properties of atoms. Removing all the valence electrons would destroy the metallic bonding between the atoms.
 
  • #19
Drakkith said:
And how would you keep the zinc from flying apart due to electrostatic repulsion or prevent ionization of anything insulating it? Remember that it is the valence electrons that govern most of the chemical properties of atoms. Removing all the valence electrons would destroy the metallic bonding between the atoms.

How about using an alloy that has Zinc in low concentration with another metal whose 1st Ionization Energy is greater than the 2nd Ionization Energy of Zinc. The second element could hold Zinc in place and serve as a matrix.

I am thinking with pure inquisitiveness. Please bear with me.
 
  • #20
praveenbm5 said:
How about using an alloy that has Zinc in low concentration with another metal whose 1st Ionization Energy is greater than the 2nd Ionization Energy of Zinc. The second element could hold Zinc in place and serve as a matrix.

I am thinking with pure inquisitiveness. Please bear with me.

I don't see any reason to do this over simply charging the zinc to a lower voltage. In any case, a normal capacitor is much more functional and safe.
 
  • #21
Drakkith said:
I don't see any reason to do this over simply charging the zinc to a lower voltage. In any case, a normal capacitor is much more functional and safe.

Can a normal capacitor weighing 250gms store 0.7 Kwh of energy?
 
  • #22
praveenbm5 said:
Can a normal capacitor weighing 250gms store 0.7 Kwh of energy?

No, and neither could your idea for reasons mentioned.
 

Related to High Potential Batteries: Is Stripping Multiple Electrons the Key?

What are 20th+ ionization batteries?

20th+ ionization batteries are a type of battery that uses multiple ionization steps to increase the energy storage capacity and efficiency. They are also known as multi-ion batteries or multi-valent batteries.

How do 20th+ ionization batteries work?

20th+ ionization batteries work by using multiple ionization steps to store and release energy. This means that the battery has multiple ions with multiple positive charges, allowing for more energy to be stored in a smaller space.

What are the benefits of 20th+ ionization batteries?

The main benefits of 20th+ ionization batteries include higher energy density, longer lifespan, faster charging times, and improved safety. They also have the potential to be more environmentally friendly as they use more abundant and less toxic materials.

What are some potential applications of 20th+ ionization batteries?

20th+ ionization batteries have the potential to be used in a wide range of applications, including electric vehicles, portable electronics, and grid energy storage. They could also be used in medical devices, aerospace technology, and renewable energy systems.

What are the current challenges facing 20th+ ionization batteries?

Some of the major challenges facing 20th+ ionization batteries include high production costs, limited availability of materials, and the need for advanced manufacturing techniques. Additionally, further research is needed to improve the performance and stability of these batteries for commercial use.

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