Professor John Cushman, Co-founder, IFBattery
Technology using a membrane-free, flow battery is showing success in powering golf carts and other applications.
A new type of electric vehicle power using “refillable” technology has taken another giant leap in advancing alternative energy with testing that shows it could provide enough energy to run a car for about 3,000 miles. The technology employs a novel type of “flow” battery that is being successfully tested in golf carts.
“The jump that this technology has made in the past two years is a testament to its value in changing the way we power our vehicles,” said John Cushman, Purdue University Distinguished Professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and a Professor of Mathematics. “It’s a game-changer for the next generation of electric cars because it does not require a very costly rebuild of the electric grid throughout the US. Instead, one could convert gas stations to pump fresh electrolyte and discard depleted electrolyte and convert oil-changing facilities to anode replacing stations. It is easier and safer to use and is more environmentally friendly than existing battery systems.”
The technology uses a patented technology that is safe and affordable for recharging electric and hybrid vehicle batteries by replacing the fluid in the batteries about every 300 miles through a process similar to refueling a car at a gas station. Every 3,000 miles, the anode material is replaced, taking less time than is needed to do an oil change and costing about the same with an estimated cost of about $65.
“It is the full circle of energy with very little waste,” 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.”
Update (February 23, 2019): Professor Cushman was also featured in an article on NBC News:
New refillable batteries could fuel an electric car revolution
In March 2019, Cushman was inducted into Purdue's Innovator Hall of Fame. The citation for his induction is:
Cushman is a pioneer in a new type of “flow” battery using a “refillable” technology that could provide enough energy to run an electric car for about 3,000 miles.