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Development and operation of an electrically rechargeable zinc-air flow battery

Development and operation of an electrically rechargeable zinc-air flow battery
Development and operation of an electrically rechargeable zinc-air flow battery
Due to the limitations of present solutions, there is a demand for cost effective chemical energy storage for grid-scale applications. One promising example in development is the zinc-air flow battery, which could prove to be a key technology in ensuring energy security and the integration of renewable generation. Although the primary zinc-air chemistry is well studied and commercially available to progress the technology into a large-scale electrically rechargeable system requires significant development. Adapting the chemistry for suitability in large secondary systems has seen comparatively little attention and there are very few practical scale systems in operation. This thesis describes novel procedures for the fabrication of a gas diffusion electrodes suitable for use as a bifunctional oxygen electrode in alkaline secondary batteries. NiCo2O4 spinel catalyst was utilised as an alternative to precious metals in both carbon paper based and novel metal based gas diffusion electrodes. Air-electrodes were rapidly screened in a custom electrochemical lab scale half-cell. These electrodes were incorporated into a proof of concept zinc-air flow battery which could act as a preliminary design for future scale up. Electrodes up to 100 cm2 have be cycled for >24 hours operation at ≤50 mA cm-2. Balancing optimal operating conditions is presently a trade-off between many factors including durability/cycle life, electrochemical performance and electrode fabrication methods/cost. > 90% coulombic efficiently, > 60% voltage efficiency have been demonstrated with catalyst loadings of < 5 mg cm-2.
University of Southampton
Gorman, Scott Francis
165a7220-6829-4b26-ae4d-f8e80e6a0853
Gorman, Scott Francis
165a7220-6829-4b26-ae4d-f8e80e6a0853
Wills, Richard
60b7c98f-eced-4b11-aad9-fd2484e26c2c

Gorman, Scott Francis (2017) Development and operation of an electrically rechargeable zinc-air flow battery. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 284pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Due to the limitations of present solutions, there is a demand for cost effective chemical energy storage for grid-scale applications. One promising example in development is the zinc-air flow battery, which could prove to be a key technology in ensuring energy security and the integration of renewable generation. Although the primary zinc-air chemistry is well studied and commercially available to progress the technology into a large-scale electrically rechargeable system requires significant development. Adapting the chemistry for suitability in large secondary systems has seen comparatively little attention and there are very few practical scale systems in operation. This thesis describes novel procedures for the fabrication of a gas diffusion electrodes suitable for use as a bifunctional oxygen electrode in alkaline secondary batteries. NiCo2O4 spinel catalyst was utilised as an alternative to precious metals in both carbon paper based and novel metal based gas diffusion electrodes. Air-electrodes were rapidly screened in a custom electrochemical lab scale half-cell. These electrodes were incorporated into a proof of concept zinc-air flow battery which could act as a preliminary design for future scale up. Electrodes up to 100 cm2 have be cycled for >24 hours operation at ≤50 mA cm-2. Balancing optimal operating conditions is presently a trade-off between many factors including durability/cycle life, electrochemical performance and electrode fabrication methods/cost. > 90% coulombic efficiently, > 60% voltage efficiency have been demonstrated with catalyst loadings of < 5 mg cm-2.

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Scott Gorman Thesis corrected 2017 - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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Published date: February 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416630
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416630
PURE UUID: 0da805b2-3974-4e8a-bba6-597d55d08215
ORCID for Richard Wills: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4805-7589

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Date deposited: 03 Jan 2018 17:31
Last modified: 03 May 2020 00:28

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Contributors

Author: Scott Francis Gorman
Thesis advisor: Richard Wills ORCID iD

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