For 200 years the basic theory of obtaining electricity from the energy potential which exists between different materials has been the foundation upon which the advances have been made in technology. It is only because of this simple electrochemical fact that we have an amazing spectrum of products and facilities available to us today. Vehicles, mobile phones, camcorders, watches, laptop computers, cordless tools - the list of consumer applications is endless. Military capability and scientific developments depend upon batteries and space exploration, manned or unmanned would be impossible without them. Over this time, enormous resources of time, research and money have gone into finding the most efficient and viable materials which can give the greater power needed to open the gates for the vast range of products and developments waiting in the wings.

Many different combinations of materials and construction have been investigated and the advances which have been made in the last 30 years have been remarkable, but there is still a demand for even higher power ratings. Some of the combinations have proved effective but have proved subsequently to be dangerous to our environment and have been banned on ecological and environmental grounds.

In 1989, Ab Europositron was founded to pursue a radical new theory which had been propounded by Mr Rainer Partanen concerning one of the materials which had been investigated before but had always run into the same difficulties, namely the apparently insurmountable problem recharging a sealed cell battery using aluminium. Rainer Partanen has progressed the theory to the point of detailed specifications of cell construction, the electrochemistry involved and has registered patents covering all the necessary areas.

The fundamental basis of the Partanen technology can be applied to all formats of batteries, from tiny button batteries to high capacity stand-by power supplies. Using one of the most abundant metals available and incorporating existing manufacturing processes, this is an avenue which demands and deserves investigation to fruition.

Why Aluminium

Aluminium is one of the most plentiful materials on earth with a low cost and has the highest electrical charge storage per unit weight except for alkali metals. It has already proved itself to be a viable material in battery application: the Zaromb cell produced in 1960 stored 15 times the energy of a comparable lead acid battery and achieved 500 Wh/Kg with a plate density current of 1A/

Salomon Zaromb working for US Philco Company and in this concept for an aluminium air cell, the anode was aluminium partnered with potassium hydroxide with air as the cathode.

The main drawback was corrosion in the off condition which resulted in the production of jelly of aluminium hydroxide and the evolution of hydrogen gas. To overcome this problem Philco added inhibitors to avoid the corrosion and had a space below the cell for the aluminium hydroxide to collect. The battery had replaceable aluminium electrode plates.

Another more recent attempt was made in 1985 by DESPIC using saline electrolyte. Additions of small quantities of tin, titanium, iridium or gallium move the corrosion potential in the negative direction. DESPIC built this cell with wedge shaped anodes which permitted mechanical recharging using sea water as electrolyte in some cases. The battery was commercially developed by ALUPOWER.

Other attempts have involved aluminium chloride (Chloroaluminate) which is molten salt at room temperature with chlorine held in a graphite electrode. This attempt in 1988 by Gifford and Palmison gives limited capacity due to high ohmic resistance of the graphite.

Equally significant is work by Gileardi and his team who have succeeded in depositing aluminium from organic solvents though the mechanisms of the reactions are not well understood at this time.

Between 1990 and 1995 Eltech Research (Fairport Habour, Ohio, U.S.A.) built a mechanically recharge Aluminium battery for the PNGV program. It had 280 cells and stored 190 kWh with a peak power of 55 kW and weighed 195 kg. This battery used a pumped electrolyte system with a separate filter/precipitator to remove the Aluminium Hydroxide jelly.

Since then, even higher ratings have been achieved but only in primary batteries i.e. where a single use is applicable. Examples of this are emergency stand-by power or torpedoes.

The reason for this is that there has been no way up to overcome the problem of aluminium hydroxide 'sludge' building up during the generation of electro- chemical energy. This has meant either disposal of the battery, or complete rebuilding and replenishing the active materials with no possibility of recharging the battery. The Partanen technology has overcome this barrier which means that the energy potential of an aluminium based battery can be utilised to a degree never before attainable and, radically can be recharged to over 3000 cycles.

Current development of batteries

Over the recent years a great deal of time and money has been spent developing increased energy ratings of secondary batteries. The latest Lead Acid, Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium Ion batteries have produced up to 200 Wh/Kg and although USABC (United States Advanced Battery Consortium) have invested $90 million over the last six years and produced a NiMH battery with a capacity of 100 Wh/Kg, it is deemed commercially non-viable because of the high expense in producing it. The required target for a viable battery system for electric vehicles is 300 Wh/litre and 200 Wh/Kg.

However the latest advanced batteries are, without exception, just variations of the same basic 200 years old principle.

Aluminium is a good solution because of four reasons

a) Abundance

b) Low Cost

c) High Energy Storage

d) Lightness

In all attempts to benefit the energy of aluminium is that no one has succeeded in solving the recharging except mechanically (by replacing the aluminium plate with a new one). As the right solution was not found the results were such drawbacks as aluminium hydroxide jelly, too big current resistance, corrosion problems etc.

Europositron technology

Partanen Europositron technology overcomes the existing difficulty and electropositive metal ions are reduced to metal through analytic and catalytic reactions in normal temperature and with a calculated electrical current. The flow resistance of the solution and the required excess voltage are taken into account.

The creation of aluminium hydroxide is eliminated and recharging for large number of cycles is possible. The technology applies to all existing methods of battery production including spiral wound sandwich examples. Another advantage of the Partanen Technology is that there is no "memory" effect as is found with many existing versions of today's batteries.

Thus batteries of various sizes can be manufactured with the following calculated performance characteristics:

Energy Density/Volume: 2100 Wh/litre

Energy Density/Weight: 1330 Wh/kg

Cycle Life: 3000+ cycles

Minimum Working Temperature: - 40C

Maximum Working Temperature: +70C

Life: 10-30 years

Discharge Rate: Adjustable

A good example of the difference the Partanen Technology would have is EV 1 by General Motors.

The total weight of the car without batteries is 816 kg. With the batteries the weight goes to 1550 kg. The power supply consists of 26 Lead-Acid batteries of 53 Ah each, which weigh 736 kg i.e. almost half of the total weight of the car. Without recharge the EV 1 runs 145 km on highway and in city traffic about 115 km.

With a Partanen technology battery weighing 60 kg, and with a volume 40 liters it would have a capacity of 80 kWh. Installed in a 816 kg EV 1 it could run 870 km on highway and 690 km in the city traffic.

Implications for Aluminium manufacture

After the Partanen Technology has been proven and verified, the subsequent consequences for aluminium manufacture will be significant. Large scale energy savings will be possible and the site of aluminium producing plants will not be governed by the proximity of large scale power resources such as hydroelectric services.

There are many other aspects which will be affected and these will be taken into consideration and how they can be exploited by collaboration with energy and aluminium industry bodies.

Patent protection

Patenting technique is such that patent applications are drafted and verified when financing for the project has been confirmed and every possible piece of information about the prototype production has been gathered, at the latest. At this point the final application is submitted and is extended to apply app. 60 countries. Old, expired applications are left as is. On basis of an earlier patent application the National Patent and Register Office of Sweden has made an international research and found that no corresponding patents or applications exist which could in any way infringe or stand in the way of registration.