Battery technology start-up from Energy claims that they have solved the technical problems involved in making iron-air batteries and can do it at a lower price than anything else on the market. Battery development is a field that seems particularly over-conventional, and the basis for complete lies, claims, and form trusts remain to be independently verified.
However, they reached an agreement to showcase their products on a scale of two years and showed enough for potential investors to announce $200 million for new funds. Iron-air batteries are significantly simpler than the complex chemistry of other batteries. They depend on the oxidation of iron, a process that is so well known that we call it rust and vice versa.
Extracting electricity efficiently from the process is even more challenging, but using a few alternative technologies such as cheaper materials – iron, water, and air. Electricity is released as the iron shells oxidize, and then the energy input reverses the reaction. Form Energy claims on their website that their technologies can save a megawatt-hour of electricity for a tenth of the price of a cheap lithium-ion battery. Recently, Tesla announced for the first time the price of its large-scale storage system. Depending on the size and location of the system, these have a capacity of about $300-400 dollars / kWh.
Proponents of renewable energy have long used $ 100 / KWh as an approximate criterion for a point where storage prices would outperform fossil fuels, so if the form claims are true, they are destroying that goal. However, the technology has some limitations. Rust is slow, so iron-air batteries cannot charge or discharge as fast as they are on the market today, and therefore cannot compete with existing technology for many purposes. However, at the claimed price they can do something different offer multi-day storage when things are moving while removing several alternatives on several cloudy/windless days in a row.
Form Energy CEO Mateo Jaramillo said in a statement, “With this technology, we are tackling one of the biggest obstacles to deep decarbonization: providing renewable energy when and where it is needed, even in extreme weather or multiple days of grid disruption.” Iron-Air showed considerable promise that from the beginning, form energy attracted the investment of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Now, it has been supplemented with $200 million from steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s XCarb™ innovation fund.