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Prof. Cushman plays role in developing new battery


Prof. John Cushman, distinguished professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary science and a professor of mathematics, recently presented research into instantly rechargeable batteries, where recharging your electric or hybrid vehicle could be just like refueling a car.

Prof. Cushman presented the research findings “Redox reactions in immiscible-fluids in porous media – membraneless battery applications” at the recent International Society for Porous Media 9th International Conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

He is a co-founder of Ifbattery LLC, a company that aims to further develop and commercialize the technology along with Prof. Eric Nauman, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering, basic medical sciences and biomedical engineering and Mike Mueterthies, Purdue doctoral teaching and research assistant in physics.

“Designing and building enough of these recharging stations requires massive infrastructure development, which means the energy distribution and storage system is being rebuilt at tremendous cost to accommodate the need for continual local battery recharge,” said Prof. Nauman. “Ifbattery is developing an energy storage system that would enable drivers to fill up their electric or hybrid vehicles with fluid electrolytes to re-energize spent battery fluids much like refueling their gas tanks.”

Mueterthies said the flow battery system makes the Ifbattery system unique.

“Other flow batteries exist, but we are the first to remove membranes which reduces costs and extends battery life,” Mueterthies said

“Membrane fouling can limit the number of recharge cycles and is a known contributor to many battery fires,” Prof. Cushman said. “Ifbattery’s components are safe enough to be stored in a family home, are stable enough to meet major production and distribution requirements and are cost effective.”

“We are at a stage in the company’s growth that we are looking for additional financing to build large-scale prototypes and subsequently manufacturing partners,” said Prof. Cushman.

On June 14, 2017, The Smithsonian Magazine published an article on this research entitled "Pour to Recharge Your Electric Vehicle".

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