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Designing Aqueous Organic Electrolytes for Near-Neutral Zinc-Air Batteries: Method, Simulation, and Validation

Clark, Simon and Mainar, Aroa and Iruin, Elena and Colmenares, Luis and Blazquez, Alberto and Jusys, Zenonas and Tolchard, Julian and Horstmann, Birger (2020) Designing Aqueous Organic Electrolytes for Near-Neutral Zinc-Air Batteries: Method, Simulation, and Validation. Advanced Energy Materials, 10, p. 1903470. Wiley. doi: 10.1002/aenm.201903470. ISSN 1614-6832.

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Aqueous zinc–air batteries (ZABs) are a low‐cost, safe, and sustainable technology for stationary energy storage. ZABs with pH‐buffered near‐neutral electrolytes have the potential for longer lifetime compared to traditional alkaline ZABs due to the slower absorption of carbonates at nonalkaline pH values. However, existing near‐neutral electrolytes often contain halide salts, which are corrosive and threaten the precipitation of ZnO as the dominant discharge product. This paper presents a method for designing halide‐free aqueous ZAB electrolytes using thermodynamic descriptors to computationally screen components. The dynamic performance of a ZAB with one possible halide‐free aqueous electrolyte based on organic salts is simulated using an advanced method of continuum modeling, and the results are validated by experiments. X‐ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X‐ray spectroscopy measurements of Zn electrodes show that ZnO is the dominant discharge product, and operando pH measurements confirm the stability of the electrolyte pH during cell cycling. Long‐term full cell cycling tests are performed, and rotating ring disk electrode measurements elucidate the mechanism of oxygen reduction reaction and oxygen evolution reaction. The analysis shows that aqueous electrolytes containing organic salts could be a promising field of research for zinc‐based batteries, due to their Zn2+ chelating and pH buffering properties. The remaining challenges including the electrochemical stability of the electrolyte components are discussed.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/139725/
Document Type:Article
Title:Designing Aqueous Organic Electrolytes for Near-Neutral Zinc-Air Batteries: Method, Simulation, and Validation
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Clark, Simonsimon.clark (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mainar, AroaCidetecUNSPECIFIED
Iruin, ElenaCidetecUNSPECIFIED
Colmenares, LuisCidetecUNSPECIFIED
Blazquez, AlbertoCidetecUNSPECIFIED
Jusys, ZenonasUniversität UlmUNSPECIFIED
Tolchard, JulianCidetecUNSPECIFIED
Horstmann, Birgerbirger.horstmann (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1500-0578
Journal or Publication Title:Advanced Energy Materials
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1002/aenm.201903470
Page Range:p. 1903470
Keywords:aqueous near‐neutral electrolytes, organic salts, thermodynamics, theory and validation, zinc–air batteries
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Storage and Cross-linked Infrastructures
HGF - Program Themes:Electrochemical Energy Storage
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SP - Energy Storage
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Electrochemical Prcesses (Batteries) (old)
Location: Ulm
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Computational Electrochemistry
Deposited By: Horstmann, Birger
Deposited On:16 Dec 2020 21:09
Last Modified:20 Jun 2021 15:54

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