Instead of generating energy from the breakdown of lithium nitride (2Li3N) into lithium and nitrogen gas, the battery prototype runs on atmospheric nitrogen in ambient conditions and reacts with lithium to form lithium nitride. According to Xinbo ZHANG, one of the researchers, its energy output is brief but comparable to that of other lithium-metal batteries. This nitrogen fixation battery system not only provides fundamental and technological progress on an energy storage system but also creates an advanced N2/Li3N (nitrogen gas/lithium nitride) cycle for a reversible nitrogen fixation process.

CAS news release, April 24, 2017