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Developments in electrode materials and electrolytes for aluminium-air batteries

Developments in electrode materials and electrolytes for aluminium-air batteries
Developments in electrode materials and electrolytes for aluminium-air batteries
Aluminium-air cells are high-energy density (< 400 W h kg-1), primary batteries first developed in the 1960s. The review shows how the performance of the battery is influenced by the choice of materials, including the type of aluminium alloy, oxygen reduction catalyst and electrolyte type. Two continuing issues with these batteries are (a) the parasitic corrosion of the aluminium, at open-circuit and under discharge, due to the reduction of water on the anode surface and (b) the passive hydroxide layer that forms on the aluminium surface in alkaline solutions, which inhibits dissolution and shifts its potential to more positive values. One method to overcome these two issues is the use of super-pure (99.999 wt%) aluminium alloyed with trace amounts of ‘activating’ elements such as Mg, Sn, In and Ga, to either inhibit corrosion or break down the passive hydroxide layer. Since the manufacture of high-purity aluminium alloys is expensive an alternative approach is to add solution phase inhibitors or additives directly to the electrolyte. The effectiveness of alloying elements, in binary and ternary alloys, and the effectiveness of different electrolyte additives are evaluated. Novel methods to overcome the self-corrosion problem include using anionic membranes and gel electrolytes or identifying alternative solvents, such as alcohols or ionic liquids, to replace aqueous solutions. The air cathode side of the battery is also considered. Future opportunities and directions for the development of aluminium-air cells are highlighted.
aluminium anode, corrosion, equilibrium redox potential, inhibitors, ionic liquid, oxygen reduction
0378-7753
293-310
Egan, D.
a261dd6b-8dd0-4b93-af3a-b4967c8d2919
Ponce de Leon, Carlos
508a312e-75ff-4bcb-9151-dacc424d755c
Wood, R.J.K.
d9523d31-41a8-459a-8831-70e29ffe8a73
jones, R.L
a7cfa75f-c321-4f4a-88dd-d30d9e9a8260
Stokes, K.R.
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Walsh, F.C.
309528e7-062e-439b-af40-9309bc91efb2
Egan, D.
a261dd6b-8dd0-4b93-af3a-b4967c8d2919
Ponce de Leon, Carlos
508a312e-75ff-4bcb-9151-dacc424d755c
Wood, R.J.K.
d9523d31-41a8-459a-8831-70e29ffe8a73
jones, R.L
a7cfa75f-c321-4f4a-88dd-d30d9e9a8260
Stokes, K.R.
5fb4e7f7-2f7e-4e6e-a045-6d7690626695
Walsh, F.C.
309528e7-062e-439b-af40-9309bc91efb2

Egan, D., Ponce de Leon, Carlos, Wood, R.J.K., jones, R.L, Stokes, K.R. and Walsh, F.C. (2013) Developments in electrode materials and electrolytes for aluminium-air batteries. Journal of Power Sources, 236, 293-310. (doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.01.141).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aluminium-air cells are high-energy density (< 400 W h kg-1), primary batteries first developed in the 1960s. The review shows how the performance of the battery is influenced by the choice of materials, including the type of aluminium alloy, oxygen reduction catalyst and electrolyte type. Two continuing issues with these batteries are (a) the parasitic corrosion of the aluminium, at open-circuit and under discharge, due to the reduction of water on the anode surface and (b) the passive hydroxide layer that forms on the aluminium surface in alkaline solutions, which inhibits dissolution and shifts its potential to more positive values. One method to overcome these two issues is the use of super-pure (99.999 wt%) aluminium alloyed with trace amounts of ‘activating’ elements such as Mg, Sn, In and Ga, to either inhibit corrosion or break down the passive hydroxide layer. Since the manufacture of high-purity aluminium alloys is expensive an alternative approach is to add solution phase inhibitors or additives directly to the electrolyte. The effectiveness of alloying elements, in binary and ternary alloys, and the effectiveness of different electrolyte additives are evaluated. Novel methods to overcome the self-corrosion problem include using anionic membranes and gel electrolytes or identifying alternative solvents, such as alcohols or ionic liquids, to replace aqueous solutions. The air cathode side of the battery is also considered. Future opportunities and directions for the development of aluminium-air cells are highlighted.

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Published date: 15 August 2013
Keywords: aluminium anode, corrosion, equilibrium redox potential, inhibitors, ionic liquid, oxygen reduction
Organisations: Engineering Science Unit

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 356114
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/356114
ISSN: 0378-7753
PURE UUID: 468f2e4e-a371-450b-9099-8b4b88827087
ORCID for Carlos Ponce de Leon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1907-5913
ORCID for R.J.K. Wood: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0681-9239

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Sep 2013 15:22
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:59

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Contributors

Author: D. Egan
Author: R.J.K. Wood ORCID iD
Author: R.L jones
Author: K.R. Stokes
Author: F.C. Walsh

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