Unlimited possibilities for energy storage of course

Chris Hemsworth’s novella Unlimited The healthy living series is rolling out on Disney+ tonight. That means now is a good time to check out the work of energy storage pioneer John Goodenough, who is still hard at work after celebrating his 100th birthday this year. Connection is longevity, as you will see. If you decide to binge all six episodes at once, be sure to save some energy for the final chapter. It’s full of surprises.

The person behind the lithium-ion battery

Professor John Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin is widely recognized for the work that led to the breakthrough in lithium-ion energy storage.

“He identified and developed the critical materials that provided the high energy density needed to power wearable electronics, initiating the wireless revolution,” UT explains.

“In 1979, Goodenough showed that by using lithium-cobalt oxide as the cathode of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it would be possible to achieve a high density of stored energy with an anode other than the lithium metal,” UT adds, noting that Goodenough won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work, among a long list of other awards and honors.

You’re never too old to invent new energy storage technology

Clean Technica met the inventor in 2015, when we caught wind of a new energy storage invention concocted by Goodenough and his team. At an age when most people experience Episode 6 of Unlimited (spoiler alert!), Goodenough has developed a new sodium-ion battery based on NaFe(SO4)2, which is the formula for Eldfellite, a mineral found in Iceland after a volcano erupted (for those of you keeping score at home, that was the Eldfell eruption in 1973).

Since then, sodium-ion technology has been a frequent guest on the pages of Clean Technica. The US Department of Energy is among those who retrieved the sodium-ion bullet and ran with it. The agency’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, for example, has tweaked the formula to extend the life of sodium-ion batteries.

During this time, UT also played a leading role in Teague Egan’s new energy storage venture EnergyX, which launched in 2018 to take advantage of a new lithium mining method leading to technology. solid-state batteries as a lifespan enhancement.

This startup is no small potato. Among other affiliations, EnergyX has an R&D partnership with the MWET (Materials Center for Water and Energy Systems) laboratory at UT. The company also has exclusive rights to a suite of technologies developed by teams at Monash University, CSIRO (Australia’s National Laboratory), UT under a $10.75 million grant from the US Department of Health. ‘energy.

Fighting the mental game of the climate crisis

It’s peanuts. Last month, Reuters reported that EnergyX has received a $450 million commitment from alternative investment group Global Emerging Markets Group, which amounts to $3.4 billion, which will be helpful as the company plans to become public over the next year.

“EnergyX is one of many companies developing its own version of a direct lithium mining (DLE) technology, aiming to produce the metal at a lower cost and with a smaller environmental footprint than traditional surface mining. and evaporation ponds”, Reuters Explain.

If all goes according to plan, GEMG will demonstrate how quickly the arc of global economic decarbonization can bend, now that the big bucks are behind it.

This is an important point to keep in mind as the climate crisis escalates and the social media machine of “climate domerism” revs up. The relentless hammering of the we-are-so-fkd messaging can put a damper on grassroots climate activists and suck public support from policymakers, investors and innovators.

Last spring, for example, BBC Journalist Marco Silva took note of the apocalyptic posts on social media which can easily foster feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, leading to inaction.

We mention this because Unlimited takes the stressor, and we had the chance to interview Professor Modupe Akinda of Columbia University, the stress expert who spoke to Chris Hemsworth about his anxiety about completing a particular task .

As director of the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership & Ethics, Akinda studies the psychology and physiology of stress and anxiety. The big question is why some people buckle under pressure and freeze in a quagmire of anxiety, while others double down and thrive.

Akinda has some answers. In an exclusive interview with Clean Technica last week, she described the kind of mindset that can help spur positive and effective responses to the climate crisis.

Akinda pointed out that the conventional ways of coping with stress are reduction, avoidance or denial. This will not work with the climate crisis.

“Being high is one of the results of learning that stress is debilitating and bad for us,” she said. “But stress can be aggravating. So acknowledge it – acknowledge your stress and think about the psychology you are engaging in.

Rather than heading for food, drink and other familiar coping strategies, Akinda advises people stressed by the climate crisis to take a step back and remember why they are stressed.

“People are stressed because they care,” she said. “Go back to the underlying reason you care. It gives you meaning and meaning. If I want a world where my children can live longer, the work I do has meaning and purpose.

For Unlimited, Akinda engaged Hemsworth in an exercise in “positive self-talk.” She described how this approach can be deployed to ward off feelings of helplessness in the face of the climate crisis.

“I can imagine that in a situation like climate change, we think it’s a waste of time, that I’m dumb to get involved in this,” she explained. “You have to say wow, I’m brave to approach this. I am ready for a challenge.

“The other thing I remind people is to channel their stress and look at the opportunities that come with that stress,” she added. “We can all report situations where stress helps us seize the opportunity.”

Akinda also had a lot to say about mindfulness, like taking a step back to calm your mind and taking care of your physical response to stress.

She emphasized that mindfulness is a non-judgmental exercise that can take different forms.

“I remind people that there are many ways to approach calming your mind. I encourage people to find the one thing that allows their mind to slow down,” she said. “If we are able to detect when we are feeling stress, this has long-term benefits for our health.Everyone is different, and it’s up to you to find out what works.

Forward and upward for energy storage

When it comes to solutions to the climate crisis, energy storage is the key to unlocking the vast resources of the sun and the wind, which is why Clean Technica pays so much attention to the subject.

Battery-like energy storage technology is getting a lot of attention, in part because of its application to the alluring world of electric vehicles.

It’s just one branch of a sprawling field that includes pumped hydroelectric “water batteries” and other systems that take advantage of the vast resource of Earth’s gravity, in addition to the emerging market for green hydrogen. .

follow me on twitter @TinaMCasey (for the moment).

Find me on Mastodon at @Casey@mastodon.green (energy and clean technologies) and @Casey@masthead.social (energy, clean technologies and ESG).

Image courtesy of Nicole Cappello (Disney) via dropbox.

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