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May 22, 2021

Researchers create new zinc-air pouch cells

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Zinc-air batteries (ZABs) are among the most promising next-generation battery technologies due to their many advantageous characteristics. Most notably, these batteries have unique half-open structures, a significant theoretical energy density (1086 and 1370 Wh kg−1 when including and excluding oxygen, respectively), flexible electrodes and an inherently aqueous electrolyte. Moreover, in contrast with other materials used in batteries, Zinc (Zn) is less harmful for the environment and more abundant.

Researchers at Hanyang University in South Korea recently designed a new type of zinc-air pouch cell that can outperform other commercially available battery technologies. These pouch cells, presented in a paper published in Nature Energy, use (101)-facet copper phosphosulfide [CPS(101)] as a cathode, anti-freezing chitosan-biocellulosics as super-ionic conductor electrolytes, and patterned Zn as the anode.

“Previous ZABs employing liquid (6 M KOH) electrolytes failed because of the sluggish kinetics for the oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR/OER) and irreversibility of Zn accompanying the parasitic reactions over wide temperatures,” Jung-Ho Lee, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Tech Xplore. “This feature inspired us to develop solid-state electrolytes, such as functionalized biocellulose, capable of transferring OH- ions effectively without parasitic reactions.”

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