The photo is sourced from ksc.ru
The Sergeysmirnovite is the fourth mineral discovered at the Kester tin deposit. “In Kester, in late 1950s, there was discovered mineral kesterite whose synthetic analogues are now widely used in solar cells. The study of the Kester mineralogy resumed in our latest works, 50 years after the discovery of kesterite. We have already described such minerals as epifanovite and batagaite. Like these two minerals, the sergeismirnovite forms at the final low-temperature stage of hydrothermal activity,” the St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU) quotes Sergey Krivovichev, Professor of the Department of Crystallography at SPbSU and Director General of the Kola Science Centre of the RAS.
Hydrothermal processes are the processes involved in the formation and transformation of minerals and ores occurring in the earth’s crust at medium and shallow depths, with the participation of hot aqueous solutions at high pressures. The discovered mineral may have good proton conductivity. Due to this property, synthetic nature-like analogues of the sergeismirnovite can be used in the development of high-capacity batteries.
The discovery made by the scientists from SPbSU and the RAS Kola Science Centre can contribute to the development of the energy storage industry, one of the fastest growing sectors of the global power industry. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), investment in batteries has increased from $1 billion in 2020 to $2 billion in 2021, and is supposed to reach $3 billion in 2022. Capital investment is driven by a strong dependence of renewable energy sources (RES) on the weather conditions, which supplier companies are trying to overcome through energy storage developments. For example, in 2022, the Spanish Acciona Energía tested zinc-bromine batteries, which unlike lithium-ion batteries do not require fire protection and cooling systems.