Liquid Metal Battery Goes Into Production

The news is rife with claims of the next great thing in clean energy generation, but most of these technologies never make it to production. Whether that’s due to cost issues, production, or scalability, we’re often teased with industry breakthroughs that never come to fruition. Multi-layered solar panels, wave and tidal energy, and hydrogen fuel cells are all things that are real but can’t seem to break through and overtake other lower cost, simpler, and proven technologies. One that seems to be bucking this trend is the liquid metal battery, which startup Ambri is putting into service on the electrical grid next year.

With lithium ion battery installations running around $405 per kilowatt-hour, Ambri’s battery technology is already poised to be somewhat disruptive at a cost of about half that. The construction method is simpler than lithium as well, using molten metal electrodes and a molten salt electrolyte. Not only is this more durable, it’s also not flammable and is largely immune to degradation over time. The company’s testing results indicate that after 20 years the battery is expected to still retain 95% of its capacity. The only hitch in scaling this technology could be issues with sourcing antimony, one of the metals needed for this type of construction.

Even though Ambri can produce these batteries for $180 to $250 per kilowatt-hour, they need to get the costs down to about $20 for the technology to be cost-competitive with “base load” power plants (an outdated term in itself). They do project their costs to come down significantly and hit this mark by 2030, which would put electrical grids on course to be powered entirely by renewables. Liquid metal batteries aren’t the only nontraditional battery out there trying to solve this problem, though. Another promising interesting energy storage technology on the horizon is phase-change materials.

89 thoughts on “Liquid Metal Battery Goes Into Production

    1. Grid scale has different cost drivers than, say, mobile or EV use. Specific energy density doesn’t matter much, volumetric matters more, and stuff like thermal maintenance is cheaper given the large sizes involved. And obviously calendric/cycle life is king.

      The $20 number seems silly – from what I’ve seen that’s just electrodes + electrolyte for the Ca-Sb battery. But there are advantages for a non lithium battery anyway in a world where battery demands are skyrocketing.

      1. >The $20 number seems silly

        It’s not so silly considering what long term storage in batteries implies: very few charging cycles over the practical lifespan of the facility.

        If you want to store energy for one month, you’re effectively doing 12 full cycles in a year. Over 20 years that’s just 240 cycles of the battery, so if your battery has a unit price of $400 per kWh that is a whopping $1.67 per kWh embedded cost of energy. If it was $20/kWh then it would be 8.3 cents a kWh which is still a little high but manageable.

        That’s also why specific energy density matters a lot: higher energy density means less materials used, which means lower embedded cost.

        1. Basically, to actually do grid scale energy storage rather than just temporary load shifting for a few hours, with batteries, requires that the unit cost of your batteries is in the single dollars per kWh to be affordable. Today’s prices are 100x too high.

          1. Peak to off peak price swings are greater than that.
            Daily profit is in the range of $0.10-$0.15 per kwh, many areas. YMWV

            Nobody is talking about using batteries to store energy till winter. That’s just insane. You leave fuel unburned/water up the hill till winter.

            The batteries do need to cycle well. Lead Acid is still good for these purposes. Weight not an issue.

          2. They are, but the peaks are a relatively small portion of the wholesale of energy, so you can make profit with expensive batteries in a limited sense – it just won’t matter in the big picture for the large scale storage of energy on the grid.

          3. >Nobody is talking about using batteries to store energy till winter. That’s just insane.

            It is, they are, and it is exactly what needs to be done if we wish to expand the use of renewable energy further.

            “Water up the hill” is possible, but not scalable enough and not available in most places. For example, if all the fjords in Norway were to be dammed up for hydroelectric power, it would amount to approximately 85,000 GWh of potential energy, which on the European synchronous grid represents about 127 hours of capacity. Not even a week.

        2. “It’s not so silly considering what long term storage in batteries”

          No, as I said: it’s silly because the “about $20” is actually listed as $21/kWh in the article, which, if you read the linked paper, comes from literally *just* the electrodes and electrolyte, with all other prices for every other component in the construction of the battery listed as “TBD.”

          Silly as in it won’t happen.

          “If you want to store energy for one month,”

          The paper is talking about an in-turbine battery to smooth/balance off-shore turbines locally rather than dealing with transmission losses. So… not a month.

    2. You want a hitch, so here’s one:
      Antimony mining in 2022 top 5:
      China 54.5%
      Russia 18.2%
      tajikstan 15.5%
      Myammar 3.6%
      Australia 3.6%

      I’m cynical about the whole promise too though, apart from the sourcing.

        1. Quite right, but I imagine that starting a mining operation including refining and transport might add a bit to the cost. And someone will only do that after there is sufficient demand and profit to be made, or when they are very confident it will all pan out.
          But since that adds cost and that would reduce demand significantly; who would trust it?
          So yes I think it plays a role that it is at the start is predominantely mined by countries the US wants to see as the enemy and is actively sanctioning in any way they can. (And thereby invoking responses)

          On top of all that there is the risk that competing production starts up elsewhere, reducing the potential profit margins for US companies. And I mean both of the batteries and the mining.

          1. “And someone will only do that after there is sufficient demand and profit to be made”

            “So yes I think it plays a role that it is at the start”

            Which is why, if you read the article, they say they already have an agreement with a US provider and are in talks with a Canadian company with an out-of-use mine.

            Antimony availability’s way less of a concern than lithium.

          2. Doing a little bit of research, it looks like the Defense Dept. might be jumping on board this.

            Rather middling for a contract, but they awarded $24million to a US based gold-mining company that produces antimony as a by-product for the express purpose of securing local sources of antimony.

        2. Antimony is a byproduct of lead production.

          They haven’t shipped one of these batteries yet.
          No reason to go looking for problems.

          If more Antimony is needed, it’s price will go up. Solved problem.

    3. This isn’t a sudden break-through. I’ve been following this one since 2010. The cost differential is because their electrolytes are literally cheap as dirt. The degradation of electrodes were the reason this wasn’t available five years ago. The long lifetime is because the electrolytes are molten, making dendrite formation impossible. This is as real as it gets.

    1. My understanding is the charge And discharge is not 100% efficient so heat is produced in both cycles. Thus a bank of these batteries and pretty close to each other too Eg much like an aluminium production array offers thermal stability with the means to charge/discharge selectively the coolest of the bunch – well within appropriate range and taking into account hysteresis too…

      There’s also potential [;-)] to introduce power and thus heat into the batteries from; solar, wind and to a degree also peltier such as via convection eg above the (mostly insulated) batteries taking advantage of the heat inside the facility vs the likely much cooler outside, which can then also be quenched eg rain, night cooler etc

      Interesting logistics exercise across multiple paths, of course in “Net present” costing methodology :-)

      1. Translation: it can be used to make small batteries that are cycled frequently and quickly, whereas for larger capacities and longer energy retention times, you need external heating.

        The old Zebra battery could stay molten for 2-3 days. Getting it up to temperature took a tremendous amount of energy though, so the overall efficiency was crap.

    2. Ambri targets large scale grid batteries (not laptops or EV”s). Due to the increasing volume vs outer surface ratio, keeping large objects at elevated temperatures costs relatively low amounts of energy. As for materials that can withstand these kind of temperatures, probably steel will be good enough.

      Honestly, I do not see the problem.

      1. Yeah, these batteries are *not* replacements for mobile storage. The big key is that they’ve got low charge/discharge efficiency (relatively) – a roundtrip efficiency of 70% (vs 90%). That’s not that big an issue for grid storage, because it just effectively raises your buying cost a bit: but if the batteries last much longer, it doesn’t matter as long as the amortized battery cost dominates operating costs.

      1. Indeed a good find :-)
        Haven’t seen that one before, its a good short coverage which I see is some 11 years back, the one I saw about 2 years ago is a longer update by the same Sadoway [ from MIT, where my eldest son works in research re CO2 :-) ] with more detail and iirc Q&A too at Dyson School of Design Engineering, made 2018.
        Has ongoing funding from Bill Gates, my eldest might jump ship ;-)

  1. Storage is one thing. Worst case failure mode is another.
    If I hit a cell with a sledgehammer and liquid leaks, is it spraybottle and scraper time or the EPA?
    Cost is not just manufacturing.

    1. Neither calcium nor antimony is particularly hazardous. A liquid leak would be a mess to clean up but it isn’t likely to result in a Superfund site unless other more hazardous materials need to be used in the battery. Molten metal would be a physical hazard, so these batteries might not be suitable for placement in population centers.

      1. If there’s a liquid leak, and then it rains on it or the facility floods, you’ve got calcium metal in water which first of all makes hydrogen gas in copious amounts, explodes, and then floods the place with calcium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic lime.

    2. Probably safer than Lithium batteries, which are both toxic and flammable.

      We’ve been working with molten metals for thousands of years, so assuming they ask someone in the steel industry for advice they should be fine.

      1. In some cases, the advice would be “Don’t.”

        Have you seen the youtube video where metallurgy students pour molten aluminum into a mold which they didn’t clean thoroughly?

    3. If molten metal leaks it solidifies pretty quickly and you pick it up – steelworks and smelting plants deal with this sort of spill all the time.

      I imagine the facility will be somewhat “bunded” (concrete base with enough wall to contain everything) so that any leak will be contained, including any water that may get contaminated with metals in the course of the problem.

      None of this stuff is hard, industry deals with far spicier problems every day of the week.

  2. Where are those numbers for the cost of lithium ion batteries coming from? I thought they were approaching $100/kWh now. Though a large scale power storage installation might cost more because of the rest of the infrastructure — but the other costs of a storage installation will apply no matter what battery chemistry is used. And they’re already getting installed to go along with solar and wind installations; at some scale they are already competitive now.

    For these liquid metal batteries to compete they’ll have to be considerably less expensive than that. The long lifetime is also appealing. The need to keep the metal molten will reduce the overall efficiency of the battery, as some energy will have to be used to heat it.

    Whether or not this particular battery turns out to be a useful solution, investigating it is worthwhile. We may need to use more than one battery chemistry to cover all the bases and to be ready for possible shortages of one material or other. The heating requirement suggests that this will be a battery solely for large fixed installations and will not find its way into cars or laptops; nothing seems to be threatening lithium for portable devices at present. Sodium ion may see use in some low-cost cars; its lower energy density and currently limited lifetime will keep it out of premium EVs.

    1. I’d think that a large scale lithium installation would have a lot of AC requirements and other safety requirements and load balancing which might not be needed here, especially if they can build larger single cells? Obviously some infrastructure will be needed, but that’s presumably in the costs they’ve given, whereas the costs we see for lithium cells don’t include that.

      1. Considerably.

        Also, not all Li-ion chemistries are the same or equally cheap. Tesla for example uses NCA for the cars, which is denser and cheaper but more prone to catastrophic self-disassembly by thermal runaway – while other automakers use NMC which is more stable and more expensive, and in China they use LiFePO4 which is safe but gets half the range or less. Tesla was trying to get NMC to work for the Model 3 but they just couldn’t get it cheap enough, so they abandoned the attempt as far as I can tell, and just put in NCAs like with the Model S.

        Which battery chemistry they use for the grid batteries depends on whether they emphasize price, long shelf-life and cycle life, or safety. Pick one, lose the others.

  3. The whole cell is molten, including the corrosive chloride separator. Operating temperature of 800 C.
    Hotter than the core of a nuclear power plant, or the boiler superheaters in a coal plant.

    This will be interesting to see how it scales up.

  4. Back of the envelope says there is as much energy stored in heat in the battery, as there is stored as electrochemical energy.

    The molten salt thermal storage schemes start looking not so bad.

    1. There is this plant in Spain (I think), where bunch of mirrors focus sunlight on a tank that holds salt, this melts and is used to store solar energy as heat to be used at night for heating (IIRC). Maybe this would be a viable way to keep those molten batteries molten…

    2. There’s also vastly more energy in the matter itself. What’s your point? If you *could* turn it into energy efficiently, you would. But you can’t.

      Heat can’t be converted into electricity nearly as efficiently as electricity can be pulled out of the battery.

      1. The battery is filled cold, no pumping needed when hot during long term normal operation
        however, if needing to vent hot fluids for any purpose – its done with a plug & gravity &
        into suitable channels to dissipate the hear over a large surface area then guillotine the
        metal when its cooled – it all depends – if need be. I’d expect other than a aircraft crash,
        or some terrorist numbnut or meteor – these things last a very long time :-)

        Those sorts of temperatures easily managed these days, many different type of ceramics,
        glasses, modern refractory materials etc

        Heating it up to start with easily done with either suitably places gas burners or resistive or
        even inductive methods – then when “hot enough” charging will raise temperature ie the
        resistivity of both liquids not zero. The whole thing neatly shrouded and in fail safe

        Heck if you did need to cool it down (gradually) can use heat exchangers around the body
        of the unit with a suitable working fluid ie gas or liquid etc Lead even Gallium comes to mind
        though one would need to check metallurgical issue long term high temp exposure and
        potential loss of working fluid from evaporation if not a closed system

        Potentially one could then use impending cell down times as a heat source with a secondary
        heat exchanger to heat the offices, cook food use for another transient chemical engineering
        production process…

        In fact might be a very good fit to have many battery cells interleaved with suitable
        chemical engineering processes – another set of logisitics – wonder if chat GPT has ideas ;-)

        1. Molten salts are typically used to move heat instead of molten metals like gallium, because metals tend to dissolve and alloy with metals and the pipes would corrode rapidly. It’s more of a rule than an exception. Hot gallium, indium, mercury, etc. will readily alloy and work havoc with copper, aluminium, steel…

    1. From what I’ve read about them in the past, they mostly look at larger scale applications. The idea was that they could just scale up the cells themselves, sort of like a flow battery.

  5. This defies reason: California’s energy management is so messed up, now the State will mandate bi-directional charging in all EVs and when the grid becomes so over-stressed they will steal energy from your EV car batteries. This will cost EV owners money, shorten their battery lifespan, and simply cause them to unplug their cars from the grid whenever power is being stolen from them!

    Read more about it here:

    Nolte: California Moves to Confiscate Power from Your Electric Car Battery | Aug 11, 2023

    1. How many youtube videos are there with sodium metal? One would be forgiven to feel the urge to “throw a Na-S battery together for demonstration”, but the fun abruptly ends at “beta-alumina solid electrolyte”*.
      The Ambri approach with a molten salt electrolyte trades it for magnetohydrodynamic challenges (Taylor instability at high currents), but it’s imo the more resilient concept.

      * e.g.

  6. “base load” power plants (an outdated term in itself).

    Nice link to a totally non-biased source, not.

    They are conflating base load with cheap power. No. Base load is that which is there reliably 24/7, that which the grid can depend on to increase or decrease power output on demand so as to satisfy variations in both demand, as well as supply thanks to the inherent variable nature of solar & wind.

    In simple terms, when demand exceeds supply, that causes a dip in grid frequency. Those large ‘base-load’ generators have huge inertia which fights against frequency changes, and so when the frequency drops you order a bit more supply from your base loads to get the frequency nominal again. The article above seems to think you can order more wind or more sun when needed, err what? The only way that is possible is to have reserve capacity, i.e. disconnected panels & turbines just sitting there, useless, waiting for when they may be needed. Is that efficient use of resources?

    The article also labels coal/nuclear slow to get online and not therefore suitable for fast changes. Again complete nonsense – the base load is online already and producing power. To increase/decrease power is a fast process. To get one of these plants from 0 to producing is most certainly not a fast process, but when a plant is offline that’s not part of the base load anyway. Sure a gas turbine plant can go from offline to producing PDQ, good for them, but how is gas burning better for the environment than nuclear?

    1. You give coal plants too much credit. When run at a lower capacity in order to be able to ramp up output to meet demand, the parasitic loads become a large drain and the efficiency goes to hell. Which is why utilities have been building pumped storage hydro even since the days of all baseload power plants

    2. The argument that it doesn’t make sense to default to “baseload” because of price competition from renewables is highly misleading, because the price competition only exists because the renewables are given guaranteed prices and preferred access to the grid.

      They can force the price down to zero or even negative and still make a profit – yet the taxpayers are paying the full price of the power and pushing cheaper baseload power off the grid because it can’t operate under such conditions. It only seems like intermittent renewables are cheaper, because you’re spreading the cost elsewhere.

      1. Besides, when you take something like a nuclear power plant which has low fuel cost, and force it to ramp up and down, you force it to produce less energy over its useful lifespan, which artificially increases the cost of said energy: same investment, less output.

        So the article is really making the point: if we choose to put renewables on the grid and force everyone else to throttle as it comes, the cost of the old baseload power goes up and becomes greater, therefore it makes sense to do so. Um… no. That’s just giving you two stupid options: do you want to pay more, or more?

          1. You mean, start rationing who gets power and when? Rich people get power 24/7 while poor people have to shut down?

            Or do you mean forcing people to pay extra to buy a load of batteries?

            Or do you mean having rolling blackouts and people using their own generators instead?

            The fundamental problem of deferred loading is that people need energy. Clothes go unwashed, fridges melt, hot water tanks run empty… eventually you have to turn back on and start consuming power, and the longer you make them wait, the bigger the tsunami of people switching everything back on at the same time. If the production is unstable and sporadic, the consumption tends to follow suit.

  7. Uh. Antimony is primarily mined in the PRC, and the PRC has shown repeatedly that’s willing to play hardball to advance its domestic political and geopolitical goals including curtailing or stopping the sales of raw materials to countries or corporations that refuse to accept Beijing’s narrative. The largest second source of antimony is Russia, which has amply proven it can’t be trusted, either.

    Third, several of antimony’s compounds are toxic, so you’re not gaining anything with respect to switching to a high temperature molten metal with environmental consequences when – not if – the cells get compromised. So, please tell me where this has a real chance of deployment so I can move elsewhere. I’d rather live next to a 4th gen nuclear reactor than a bank of these batteries.

    1. Literally in the article.

      “There is antimony in North America; it’s not just found in China,” Sadoway says. “You don’t keep looking for more resources if you’ve met market need. We can meet the need for antimony for now, and supply could keep pace with growth.”

      They have agreements with US suppliers and have talked to Canadians as well if needed.

    1. Hmm, that has the appearance of facile claim – source material please ?
      ie Has to include eg start with solar:-
      1. Land area for an acceptable solar panel efficiency short and long term
      2. Net present costing re infrastructure, connections to periphery of array.
      3. Service life of panels
      4. Other, To Be Determined – many speculations eg Secondary/tertiary usage covered ground
      such as pasture, crops etc
      5. Seasonal aspects re seasons, average cloud cover etc

      With other sources Eg wind & local/minimal hydro to include
      6. Integration with items 1-5
      7. Weather demographics

      Also secondary aspects
      8. Arable land under solar and wind regions
      9. Grazing opportunities re livestock sheltered from excessive day sun heat
      10. Specialty crops adapted to indirect sunlight etc

      There are of course many others but, I get impression you’re not interested or don’t know… :-(

      Sorry but a simple graphic doesn’t offer any utility, useless eg it impresses the uneducated fear wise
      re taking up (arable) land appears as if propaganda but, techies ie Engineers especially in Power
      Systems such as the Physics of energy efficiencies are Not so easily manipulated by
      such a very simple picture :-(

      Anything actually pertinent, on point to support the graphic fully that you felt compelled to post ?

      Which raises the question, why post it at all if you cannot or refuse to cite the source,
      how does this appear – what message are you projecting – fossil fuel or nuclear option to counter ?

      ie Heard of Science communications eg peer review journals, and maybe ‘some’ provenance re Math ?

      1. First make a solar panel using solar power (or wind, hydro, etc.). Not that easy or efficient. The entire production basically runs on fossil fuels because it’s cheaper and easier, so it’s rather begging the question to talk about running the grid “solely” on renewable power.

        1. Huh, I never suggested running the grid solely on renewables – although it might well be plausible such as if economies of scale and integration of sources (also tidal) were supported by storage such as sizable liquid metal installations appearing to be a viable option nationwide.

          As to solar panels powering a solar panel production facility, iirc solarex did that for a quite a while approx 20 years ago – I thought they sold out to a Chinese co that now powers their system from hydro ir bit cheaper than keeping capital in their own panels
          ie the rather large 3 Gorges dam hydro generation system. I also understand there is a far bigger one in planning stage, yikes !

          1. Then what’s the point? If you can’t do away with fossil fuels in the production chain, what do you really accomplish? This is the first question that needs an answer before it even makes sense to discuss how much land etc. is needed.

            Making solar panels with solar power involves a lot more than just powering the factory. Silicon refining for example doesn’t just run on electricity.

          2. A purist wants solar panels made by solar power.

            An engineer just cares about energy payback time and financial ROI, mostly the latter.

            kwhs are fungible.
            Not to a purist, but F them, right in the ear. They understand nothing.

  8. Regarding that reference paper from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on Baseload: Uh, that was six years ago. As recently as last month we saw the Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission testifying before a congressional committee that we were taking too many fossil fuel plants offline without bringing enough renewables online. Furthermore, while many people like to throw around terms of what renewable energy plants CAN put on the grid, they rarely ever mention a term that ought to embarrass them: Capacity Factor.

    Capacity Factor is the ability of that plant to supply full power over some period of time, generally not less than one day. Wind and solar energy has a capacity factors of around 10% to 20%. Onshore Wind has a capacity factor of 23% to 44% (Source: ). By comparison, a nuclear power plant has a capacity factor of around 90%. A gas fired power plant can have a capacity factor of around 60%.

    In other words, it may take four times as many solar and wind resources to make up for what we currently have with coal, gas, and nuclear resources. That level of resources are simply not available on the grid yet and there is a very significant backlog of interconnections to get them there.

    The NRDC discussion (of two other papers) does not mention how we make the transition to the wonderful land of renewables. It does not mention what is in that base load that we may have to adjust. The only thing the papers it references discuss is the changing fuel resource mix. It does not have any details other than handwaving to suggest that the base load concept might not be monolithic. Further it does not discuss the general availability of generation capacity.

    The thing to keep in mind is that if the lights go out, there will be a need for power. Many single family homeowners will probably run a small generator to power their home at night. What is the environmental impact of that? And as the power becomes less and less reliable, how many more homeowners will buy even more portable generators to fill the gap? If you consider that level of pollution, it might be better to keep a combine cycle coal-fired power plant online.

    The primary goal is to keep the lights on. The secondary goal is to do so efficiently, inexpensively, and cleanly. If the power doesn’t stay on it won’t matter how clean, efficient, or inexpensive the energy was; people will go to alternative measures. And whether you like it or not, those measures won’t be as easy to manage as those from an electric power distribution system.

    (These are my views only, don’t blame anyone else for them)

    1. > By comparison, a nuclear power plant has a capacity factor of around 90%. A gas fired power plant can have a capacity factor of around 60%.

      And that’s by choice. You certainly can run both all the time if needed – nuclear has no trouble reaching 96% capacity factor where it’s only shut down for two weeks in a year for maintenance – but especially the gas fired power plants suffer lower capacity factors because they’re used for load following to accommodate the renewable power.

  9. Antimony. Anything which contains large amounts of antimony or its compounds are going to be a big concern. Although not nearly as toxic, it sits below arsenic in the periodic table and the effects of poisoning are very similar. It is especially dangerous in the form of dust.

  10. I realize that it is technically correct to say this is “non flammable”, but only in the most technical sense.

    The problem with (several) cubic meters of liquid kept at 800C is that there had better not be ANYTHING flammable nearby. Or anything that likes to rapidly expand when violently heated.

    To put this into perspective, Aluminum melts at 660C.
    If you had, for example, a bathtub full of molten Aluminum, you might not need to worry about a spark igniting it, but it is certainly still a fire hazard.

    I’m actually interested in how a battery like this would be mounted.
    Concrete is an absolute “nope”. It LOVES to absorb moisture.
    Moist stone + “molten” liquid = explosion.

    Maybe water itself is the answer?
    Suspend them over a +2m deep containment pool?
    It would still be pretty violent if you had a major leak, but at least you wouldn’t have fist-sized chunks of concrete flying around at the speed of sound.

    1. Hmm, you seem to be under the impression liquid aluminium is just as bad as lighting magnesium its not, as aluminium immediately forms an oxide layer even when cold and when liquid the surface retards oxygen ingress as in building up the sapphire layer. There are videos of workers pushing steel poles through red hot liquid aluminium cleaning out debris at a foundry – not an issue.
      Of course you can get around that to a degree with spraying very hot liquid aluminium if you really wanted to eg as a weapon – thats beyond the scope here.

  11. Molten Salt Reactors (see: Dutch putting MSR’s in cargo ships) make renewable energy/batteries obsolete ! The only reason MSR’s are expensive is because bureaucrats want to keep their cushy jobs “studying” & writing more rules. Phony Capitalists & “researchers” don’t want any inexpensive solutions because they are getting so much free gov. money. They don’t have to actually produce anything useful & compete in the Open Market.

  12. I’m not talking about the reactivity of Aluminum.
    I’m talking about steam explosions.

    Have you ever had a crucible break and dump a 5kg melt of Aluminum?
    Hopefully it lands on dry sand, and even then it will jump around and spot molten metal.
    If you are dumb enough to do it over concrete (I have been multiple times) it will INSTANTLY vaporize the water that concrete holds. With nowhere to go but out, a football sized chunk of concrete is going to leap out of the surface as it rapidly breaks up. This is also going to fling all that molten metal EVERYWHERE.

    That is why I’m interested in how they mount it.
    Anything flammable is obviously out.
    But anything that absorbs moisture is ALSO out. Even if the material is “safe” like sand, it will fling molten material EVERYWHERE, likely damaging nearby batteries.

    Less dangerous != Safe

  13. Vanadium flow batteries are 100% recyclable and available now. God knows why they haven’t taken off yet. No risk of thermal runaway like lithium batteries and no need to keep them molten.

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