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					                  Electrochemical Pathways Towards Sustainability

                                        Donald R. Sadoway

                         Department of Materials Science and Engineering
                              Massachusetts Institute of Technology
                                    Cambridge, Massachusetts
                                        U.S.A. 02139-4307
                                        dsadoway@mit.edu
                          indicate preference: oral presentation or poster


[The abstract should be typed, single-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman font, 2.5 cm margins, page
size A4 or US Letter, 250 words maximum].
The importance of electrochemical technologies in sustainable development will be illustrated in
three different settings:  metals production by molten oxide electrolysis (MOE), which is the
electrolytic decomposition of a metal oxide into molten metal and oxygen gas and represents an
alternative to today’s carbon-intensive thermochemical metals reduction processes. For MOE the
feedstock can be concentrate derived from ore or can be hazardous waste such as chromate sludge;
 stationary batteries for storage and delivery of off-peak power. Here the emphasis is on colossal
current capability, e.g., 100s of kA with a footprint measuring 10s of metres; and  portable
batteries powering electric vehicles. The enabling material here is a solid, polymer electrolyte with
the ionic conductivity of a liquid, the mechanical properties of a solid, and the formability of a
commodity thermoplastic. This has been achieved with a class of block polymers that exhibit local
segregation, or “micro-phase separation”, into periodically-spaced nanoscopic domains. With such
materials it should be possible to construct liquid-free, flexible, thin-film batteries possessing
specific energy densities of ~400 Wh/kg at room temperature.

				
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posted:12/3/2010
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