Engineering and Design of Novel Tailored Li-Air Ba.. (Li-Air Cathodes)
Engineering and Design of Novel Tailored Li-Air Battery Cathodes
Start date: Sep 2, 2013,
End date: Sep 1, 2016
Continuing research into renewable sources of energy is essential in order to overcome the issues arising from man’s insatiable demand for energy and our current dependence on fossil fuel sources. Highly efficient energy storage devices are required to enable a smooth transition to energy sources with reduced environmental impact and this research has been identified as a priority by the European Union.Lithium-air batteries present a promising form of energy storage with a theoretical specific energy approaching that of petrol and an order of magnitude higher than the current ubiquitous Li-ion battery. Substantial challenges must, however, be overcome prior to widespread commercial exploitation. The most critical include large voltage hysteresis, low round-trip efficiency, low gravimetric and volumetric power and short cycle lifetime. Recent studies confirm the importance of developing a fundamental understanding of the cathodic oxygen reduction (ORR) and evolution reactions (OER) in order to be able to effectively address these issues.The proposed project will utilize a methodical approach to the development of novel cathode materials. Investigation of Li-air cell behavior by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), a technique with little application in the field, will enable establishment of a quantitative model of the relationship between cathode chemistry, morphology and cell performance.Application of this model will facilitate the design and testing of innovative catalyst and cathode materials with targeted performance characteristics. The project will encompass the study of the chemistry and morphology of reaction products, an understanding of which is central to achieving cells with long cycle lifespans. The return phase of the project will culminate in the development of a prototype Li-air cell, utilizing the materials developed during the course of the project, which will enable the commercial viability of the technology to be assessed.
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