Pletcher, Derek, Zhou, Hantao, Kear, Gareth, Low, C.T. John, Walsh, Frank C. and Wills, Richard G.A.
A novel flow battery—A lead-acid battery based on an electrolyte with soluble lead(II) V. Studies of the lead negative electrode
Journal of Power Sources, 180, (1), . (doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.02.024).
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The structure of lead deposits (approximately 1 mm thick) formed in conditions likely to be met at the negative electrode during the charge/discharge cycling of a soluble lead-acid flow battery is examined. The quality of the lead deposit could be improved by appropriate additives and the preferred additive was shown to be the hexadecyltrimethylammonium cation, C16H33(CH3)3N+, at a concentration of 5 mM. In the presence of this additive, thick layers with acceptable uniformity could be formed over a range of current densities (20–80 mA cm?2) and solution compositions. While electrolyte compositions with lead(II) concentrations in the range 0.1–1.5 M and methanesulfonic acid concentrations in the range 0–2.4 M have been investigated, the best quality deposits are formed at lower concentrations of both species. Surprisingly, the acid concentration was more important than the lead(II) concentration; hence a possible initial electrolyte composition is 1.2 M Pb(II) + 5 mM C16H33(CH3)3N+ without added acid.
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