Meet the world's first rechargeable 3D zinc micro-sponge electrode.
Edison first recognized zinc as a useful electrode material. He even patented the first rechargeable nickel-zinc battery. But unfortunately the cycle life was not very good, struck down by dendrites - those stalactite-like formations that are the bane of all battery designers. They grow and grow until piercing the separator and shorting out the battery. Zinc happened to grow dendrites quickly and Edison could not find a solution. Zinc was relegated to disposable batteries. But developers did not forget zinc's usefulness and have been working over the past 50 years to make a useful rechargeable zinc-based battery. Many solutions have been offered; some in use today. They range from dendrite suppressing additives to ionic electrolytes; removable plates of zinc, and flow or fuel cell like batteries. These do work, but with compromises. They have great energy, but low power. They are relatively simple components, but complex systems using pumps, storage, tanks, control valves, and controllers. Most are more applicable for large stationary applications like grid storage. None are useful for both mobile and stationary applications.
Our solution, like most successful solutions, is elegant in its simplicity. If the zinc is in an open cell sponge form it is a continuously wired structure. Unlike the typical powder or slurry forms, the current can flow uninterrupted during charge and discharge. Hot-spots cannot form, dendrites cannot grow, anode cracking does not take place. High energy and power can be achieved with hundreds of cycles, in a battery that looks like a battery and not a refinery. Edison would be proud.