International Research Cooperation for Sustainable Batteries in the Future
High performance, environmentally friendly, safe and at the same time cost-effective: air-cooled battery is an attractive energy storage technology up front.
Until now, conventional zinc-air batteries have struggled with high chemical instability, parasitic reactions in the use of base electrolytes resulting in irreversible electrochemistry. Based on the innovative, non-language, water electrolyte, an international research team led by scientist Dr. Wei Sun of the MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Muenster has developed a new battery chemistry for air-conditioning zinc batteries that overcome technical barriers.
The scientific team has published extensive results on its research project, involving researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai, the University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, the University of Maryland and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, in the journal. Science.
Zinc-air battery key parameters are optimized
“Our innovative non-base electrolyte produces the chemical zinc peroxide (ZnO2) / O2 which is not known in zinc-air batteries,” explains Dr. Wei Sun. Compared with conventional alkaline electrolytes, non-developed aqueous electrolytes, based on zinc trifluoromethanesulfonate salts, have several advantages: Zinc anodes work more efficiently with higher chemical stability and electrochemical reversal. A complete and long-lasting zinc-air battery can be operated stable for 320 cycles and 1,600 hours in close air.
The chemical mechanism of these ZnO2 / O2 batteries and the role of the anesthetic hydrophobic anion trifluoromethanesulfonate are revealed systematically using electrochemistry, analytical techniques and multisale simulations. The energy density that has been identified now has the possibility of competing with the lithium-ion battery that currently dominates the market.
“Zinc-air batteries provide potential alternative battery technologies with advantages such as environmental friendliness, high security, and low cost,” emphasizes Sun. “This technology still requires extensive and intensive research before its practical application.”
References: “Refillable zinc-air batteries based on zinc chemical” by Wei Sun, Fei Wang, Bao Zhang, Mengyi Zhang, Verena Küpers, Xiao Ji, Claudia Theile, Peter Bieker, Kang Xu, Chunsheng Wang and Martin Winter , January 1, 2021, Science.
DOI: 10.1126 / science.abb9554