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United States Patent Application 20170158578
Kind Code A1
WANG; Frederick E. ;   et al. June 8, 2017

MEANS FOR ENERGY STORAGE, MEANS FOR ENERGY RELEASE, AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING A RELEASED HEAT OF A LITHIUM-BORON ALLOY

Abstract

A means for energy storage includes: a Li-B alloy, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.x B.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95. A means for energy release includes: a Li--B alloy adapted to react with oxygen at ambient temperature, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.x B.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95. A method for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy includes the steps of: providing a Li--B alloy placed in a container; and controlling oxygen flux to the container.


Inventors: WANG; Frederick E.; (Kaohsiung, TW) ; TSAI; De-Chang; (Kaohsiung, TW)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

METAL INDUSTRIES RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT CENTRE

Kaohsiung

TW
Assignee: Metal Industries Research & Development Centre

Family ID: 1000002330387
Appl. No.: 15/362084
Filed: November 28, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: C06B 47/10 20130101
International Class: C06B 47/10 20060101 C06B047/10

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Dec 3, 2015TW104140495

Claims



1. A means for energy storage, comprising: a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95.

2. The means for energy storage according to claim 1, further comprising an isolation unit, for sealing the Li--B alloy and isolating the Li--B alloy from oxygen.

3. The means for energy storage according to claim 2, wherein the isolation unit is a film attached to a surface of the Li--B alloy.

4. The means for energy storage according to claim 2, wherein the isolation unit is a hard shell or a soft shell.

5. The means for energy storage according to claim 1, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.3 and 0.9.

6. A means for energy release, comprising: a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy adapted to react with oxygen at room temperature, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95.

7. The means for energy release according to claim 6, further comprising: a device for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy, the device comprising: a container, wherein the Li--B alloy is placed in the container; and an oxygen flux control unit in communication with the container, for controlling oxygen flux to the container.

8. The means for energy release according to claim 7, wherein the oxygen flux control unit is in communication with an oxygen supply source or atmospheric environment.

9. The means for energy release according to claim 7, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.3 and 0.9.

10. The means for energy release according to claim 7, wherein the released heat of the Li--B alloy is used as boost energy sources of rockets or torpedoes.

11. The means for energy release according to claim 7, wherein the released heat of the Li--B alloy is used as boiler fuel sources in the petrochemical industry.

12. A method for controlling a released heat of a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy, comprising the steps of: providing a Li--B alloy placed in a container; and controlling oxygen flux to the container.

13. The method for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy according to claim 12, wherein the total weight of boron (B) content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux are controlled to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat.

14. The method for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy according to claim 13, wherein, when the release speed of the heat is low, at this time the Li--B alloy which is in a block shape reacts with oxygen.

15. The method for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy according to claim 13, wherein, when the release speed of the heat is high, at this time the Li--B alloy which is in a powder shape reacts with oxygen.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of Taiwan Patent Application No. 104140495, filed on Dec. 3, 2015, which is hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Technical Field

[0003] The present disclosure relates to a means for energy storage, and particularly to a means for energy release and a method for controlling a released heat of a lithium-boron alloy.

[0004] Related Art

[0005] It can be known from an oxidation reaction that boron (B) reacts with oxygen, and the formula is as follows:

4B+3O.sub.2.fwdarw.2B.sub.2O.sub.3 (1)

[0006] The exothermic reaction may produce lots of heat as follows:

-.DELTA.H=116 KJ/gm (2)

[0007] The heat (KJ/gm) of formation for the above-mentioned boron oxide (B.sub.2O.sub.3) is the highest and much more than the heat (KJ/gm) of formation for aluminum oxide, barium oxide, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, etc.

[0008] However, boron (B) can react with oxygen to produce an exothermic reaction only at a temperature greater than 750 degrees Celsius. The claims in the present disclosure is that by the use of Li--B alloy the reaction as shown in formula (1) and formula (2) can start at room temperature and thus causes a threshold to exothermic applications thereof. Currently, the Li--B alloy is only used as a battery electrode material, but has not yet been used to energy storage or heat release.

[0009] Patent documents or technical documents related to the Li--B alloy are as follows: for example, Chinese patent document (Patent Application No.: CN 200810227589.3) discloses that the Li--B alloy is in a porous state, its specific surface area may be greater than that of pure Li metal, and thus it is more active than the pure Li metal. It is exposed in an ordinary atmospheric environment, is easy to produce an oxidization reaction, and gives off a gas (B.sub.2H.sub.6) having a special smell. Without rigorous protection measures, alloy ingot is easy to oxidize and turn dark, and is seriously deteriorated, and the use is affected.

[0010] The Chinese patent document (Patent Application No.: CN 200810227589.3) further discloses a Li--B alloy protection method. The method is immersing a Li--B alloy in protective oil, wherein the protective oil is machine oil or edible oil, soaking the Li--B alloy until there is no bubble, covering a surface of the Li--B alloy with a protective oil film, and removing the alloy for inflatable packaging or vacuum packaging, wherein gases for inflatable packaging are rare gases, CO.sub.2 or Hz.

[0011] However, the Chinese patent document (Patent Application No.: CN 200810227589.3) only discloses that the Li--B alloy protection method is to prevent oxidization and darkening deterioration of the Li--B alloy, but does not disclose, when the Li--B alloy reacts with oxygen at normal temperature to produce heat, controlling the total weight of B content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat.

[0012] For another example, the Chinese patent document (Patent Application No.: CN 201310533223.X) discloses a method of preparing a Li--B gettering material, and the method is as follows: 1. Using Li metal ingot, superfine B powder, carbon powder, B carbide powder, magnesium powder and/or aluminum powder ingredients; 2. putting the ingredients in an argon-shielding resistance heating furnace to be heated to 370.degree. C., which are stirred for 1 h, to fully immerse the powder therein; and then cooling the ingredients to the normal temperature; wherein, during heating, the heating rate is controlled to be 2.degree. C./min; 3. cogging and cold-rolling the ingot at the normal temperature in the air of which the relative humidity is less than 2% into a 1.times.50(mm) strip, and stamping the strip into a pre-alloy sheet; 4. placing the pre-alloy sheet into an argon-shielding resistance furnace to be heated to 700.degree. C. and kept warm for 15 min, cooling the pre-alloy sheet to the normal temperature and then removing and placing the pre-alloy sheet in the air of which the relative humidity is less than 2% for 0.5 h, to obtain a surface-passivated gettering sheet; and 5. packaging the pre-alloy sheet and the surface-passivated gettering sheet both with aluminum foil bags for use.

[0013] The Chinese patent document (Patent Application No.: CN 201310533223.X) mainly makes the Li--B alloy pass through 600-700 degrees, and can machine the Li--B alloy, to obtain different shapes of gettering materials, thus avoiding spontaneous combustion.

[0014] However, the Chinese patent document (Patent Application No.: CN 201310533223.X) only discloses applications of the Li--B alloy in the gettering field, but does not disclose, when the Li--B alloy reacts with oxygen at normal temperature to produce heat, controlling the total weight of B content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat.

[0015] For another example, the US patent document (Patent No.: U.S. Pat. No. 4,162,352) discloses an electrode material including a Li--B alloy, which may be used as a new electrode material of electrochemical batteries. The Li--B alloy is composed of skeletal Li--B compounds and metal Li adsorbed therein, the melting point thereof may be more than 600 degrees, and the electrical property thereof is close to that of the pure Li. The Li--B alloy is much higher than the Li--Si alloy currently used, overcomes the defect that the pure Li electrode is of a high temperature and easy to flow, and is the best battery anode material accepted at present.

[0016] However, the US patent document (Patent No.: U.S. Pat. No. 4,162,352) only discloses that the weight percentage of B in the Li--B alloy is between 10 and 50, but does not disclose, when the Li--B alloy reacts with oxygen at normal temperature to produce heat, controlling the total weight of B content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat.

[0017] In view of this, it is necessary to provide a means for energy storage and a means for energy release to solve the above problems.

SUMMARY

[0018] A main objective of the present disclosure is to provide a means for energy storage of a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy, a means for energy release of a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy, and method for controlling a released heat of a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy.

[0019] To achieve the above objective, the present disclosure provides a means for energy release, including a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy adapted to react with oxygen at ambient temperature, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95.

[0020] The means for energy release further includes: a device for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy, including: a container, wherein the Li--B alloy placed in the container; and an oxygen flux control unit in communication with the container, for controlling oxygen flux to the container.

[0021] The oxygen flux control unit is in communication with an oxygen supply source or atmospheric environment.

[0022] The present disclosure further provides a means for energy storage. The means for energy storage includes: a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95. The means for energy storage further includes: an isolation unit, for sealing the Li--B alloy and isolating the Li--B alloy from oxygen.

[0023] When a user is to use the Li--B alloy, the user only needs to remove the isolation unit and take out the Li--B alloy to react with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature, and heat can be produced for use.

[0024] In the first embodiment, the isolation unit is a film attached to a surface of the Li--B alloy.

[0025] In the second embodiment, the isolation unit is a hard shell. A gas is filled between the hard shell and the Li--B alloy, and the gas can be nitrogen or inert gas. Alternatively, the isolation unit is a hard shell, and the air between the hard shell and the Li--B alloy is sucked fully.

[0026] In the third embodiment, the isolation unit is a soft shell. A gas is filled into the soft shell, and the gas can be nitrogen or inert gas. Alternatively, the isolation unit is a soft shell, and the air between the soft shell and the Li--B alloy is sucked fully.

[0027] In addition, a method for controlling heat release of a Li--B alloy includes steps of: providing a Li--B alloy placed in a container; and controlling oxygen flux to the container. The total weight of B content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux are controlled to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat. When the release speed of the heat is low, at this time the Li--B alloy which is in a block shape reacts with oxygen. When the release speed of the heat is high, at this time the Li--B alloy which is in a powder shape reacts with oxygen.

[0028] The present disclosure is characterized in that: when Li--B alloy reacts with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature and release heat, the total weight of B content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux are controlled to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat.

[0029] Furthermore, the device and method for controlling heat release of a Li--B alloy further includes an isolation unit, for sealing the Li--B alloy and isolating the Li--B alloy from oxygen, and keeping the Li--B alloy in a stable state without producing an exothermic reaction. When a user is to use the Li--B alloy, the user only needs to remove the isolation unit and take out the Li--B alloy to react with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature, and heat can be produced for use.

[0030] To make the foregoing and other objectives, features and advantages of the present disclosure more evident, detailed description is provided hereinafter as follows with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0031] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a device for controlling a released heat of a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0032] FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an isolation unit according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0033] FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an isolation unit according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure; and

[0034] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an isolation unit according to a third embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0035] The lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy of the present disclosure can react with oxygen (i.e., exothermic reaction) in a general environment at room temperature, to release heat. Therefore, the proposal controls the total weight of boron (B) content of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux to determine the total weight and release speed of released heat.

[0036] The Li--B alloy of the present disclosure can be obtained with the following manufacturing method:

[0037] Firstly, an appropriate amount of lithium (Li) metal and boron (B) was add to a crucible, and heated to 250-400 degrees Celsius. The melting point of the Li metal was 182 degrees Celsius, and thus when heated to 250 degrees Celsius in the beginning, the Li metal may fully form a Li metal liquid solution, while B was still in a solid state.

[0038] Then, the holding temperature in the crucible was still kept between 250-400 degrees, and the Li metal solution and B were stirred using a machine until the B was fully dissolved in the Li metal solution to form a Li--B solution.

[0039] At least 10 minutes to 1 hours or a longer time was required to dissolving B in the Li metal solution, the dissolving time mainly depended on the size of B and the ratio of Li to B, and during dissolving, it was necessary to keep the temperature in the crucible between 250-400 degrees Celsius.

[0040] Then, after B was fully dissolved in the Li metal solution to form the Li--B solution, the temperature in the crucible slowly rose from 400 degrees Celsius to 550 degrees Celsius.

[0041] In the process of temperature rising, the viscosity of the Li--B solution may increase with the rise of the temperature until the Li--B solution is formed to a solidified Li--B alloy. It should be particularly noted that the Li--B solution is formed to the Li--B alloy mainly in a range of 530 degrees Celsius to 550 degrees Celsius.

[0042] The molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, preferably between 0.1 and 0.95, and more preferably between 0.3 and 0.9; the Li--B alloy can react with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature, and can produce enough heat.

[0043] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a means for energy release according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0044] Referring to FIG. 1, the means for energy release includes: a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy 120 adapted to react with oxygen at ambient temperature, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy 120 is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95. The means for energy release further includes: a device 10 for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy 120. The device 10 for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy includes a container 160 and an oxygen flux control unit 170. The Li--B alloy 120 is placed in the container 160 via an inlet (not shown) of the container 160. The oxygen flux control unit 170 (e.g., regulating valve) is in communication with the container 160 and in communication with an oxygen supply source 180 or atmospheric environment, for controlling oxygen flux to the container 160.

[0045] For example, by controlling the total weight of B content (e.g., 1,000 grams) of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux (e.g., 15 liters/minute), the total weight (e.g., 1,000.times.116 KJ) and release speed (e.g., 1120 KJ/min) of released heat, and the released heat can heat air or water via an outlet (not shown) of the container 160, to be used as heating in winter or an (urgent) heating source desired in wilderness survival. As the release speed of the heat is low, at this time the Li--B alloy which can be in a block shape reacts with oxygen.

[0046] For another example, by controlling the total weight of B content (e.g., 10,000 grams) of the Li--B alloy and oxygen flux, the total weight (e.g., 10,000.times.116 KJ) and release speed of released heat, and the released heat can heat air or water via an outlet (not shown) of the container 160, to be used as boost energy sources of rockets, torpedoes and the like or boiler fuel sources desired in the petrochemical industry and the like. As the release speed of the heat is high, at this time the Li--B alloy which can be in a powder shape reacts with oxygen.

[0047] After the Li--B alloy reacts with oxygen, a boron oxide (B.sub.2O.sub.3) and Li will be produced. The B.sub.2O.sub.3 can produce a reduction reaction by using K or be electrolyzed to obtain pure B.

[0048] The recycled B and Li can be made into a Li--B alloy by using the method for manufacturing a Li--B alloy.

[0049] Therefore, the innovation concept of the present disclosure is to manufacture a Li--B alloy by heat or electricity so as to convert the electricity into chemical energy, and then to convert the chemical energy of the Li--B alloy to heat or electricity by using the device for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy according to the present disclosure.

[0050] Moreover, to avoid that the Li--B alloy reacts with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature, the present disclosure provides a means for energy storage. The means for energy storage includes: a lithium-boron (Li--B) alloy, wherein the molecular formula of the Li--B alloy is Li.sub.xB.sub.1-x, x is the atomic fraction of Li, and x is between 0.1 and 0.95. The means for energy storage further includes: an isolation unit for storing the Li--B alloy. The isolation unit seals the Li--B alloy and isolates the Li--B alloy from oxygen, to avoid that the Li--B alloy produces an exothermic reaction. When the device for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy according to the present disclosure uses the Li--B alloy, it can produce heat for use only by removing the Li--B alloy from the isolation unit and placing the Li--B alloy in a container to react with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature.

[0051] FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an isolation unit according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0052] Referring to FIG. 2, in this embodiment, the isolation unit seals the Li--B alloy and isolates the Li--B alloy 120 from oxygen. The isolation unit can be a film 110. The film 110 can isolate the Li--B alloy 120 from oxygen by being directly attached to the surface of the Li--B alloy 120. The film 110 can be an adhesive tape, and an adhesive surface of the adhesive tape is directly attached to the surface of the Li--B alloy 120. When the Li--B alloy 120 is to be used, the Li--B alloy 120 can be used only by directly stripping the adhesive tape.

[0053] FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an isolation unit according to a second embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0054] Referring to FIG. 3, in this embodiment, the isolation unit can be a hard shell 140. A gas 130 is filled between the hard shell 140 and the Li--B alloy 120, and the gas 130 can be nitrogen or inert gas. Alternatively, the air between the hard shell 140 and the Li--B alloy 120 is sucked fully. The use of the hard shell 140 can prevent the possibility that the isolation unit is damaged by an external force, thereby avoiding possible contact between the Li--B alloy 120 and oxygen. The hard shell 140 can be made of a glass material or a metal material, and a sealing method thereof can be a method for sealing a can. When the Li--B alloy 120 is to be used, the Li--B alloy 120 can be fetched by directly opening an outer cover 141 of the hard shell 140.

[0055] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of an isolation unit according to a third embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0056] Referring to FIG. 4, in this embodiment, the isolation unit can be a soft shell 150. After the soft shell 150 seals the Li--B alloy 120, the air between the soft shell 150 and the Li--B alloy 120 is sucked fully and the Li--B alloy 120 can be stored. Alternatively, a gas is filled into the soft shell 150, and the gas 130 can be nitrogen or inert gas. The soft shell 150 can be made of a plastic material. When the Li--B alloy 120 is to be used, the Li--B alloy 120 can be taken out and used by directly damaging the soft shell 150.

[0057] In detail, the device for controlling a released heat of a Li--B alloy further includes an isolation unit which can be a film 110 or a hard shell 140 or a soft shell 150, and the isolation unit can effectively isolate the Li--B alloy from oxygen in the atmosphere and keep the Li--B alloy 120 in a stable state without producing an exothermic reaction. When a user is to use the Li--B alloy 120, the user only needs to remove the isolation unit and take out the Li--B alloy 120 to react with oxygen in a general environment at room temperature, and heat can be produced for use.

[0058] The above merely describes implementations or embodiments of technical means employed by the present disclosure to solve the technical problems, which are not intended to limit the patent implementation scope of the present disclosure. Equivalent changes and modifications in line with the meaning of the patent scope of the present disclosure or made according to the scope of the disclosure patent are all encompassed in the patent scope of the present disclosure.

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