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Low Cost, Robust, Rechargeable Oxygen Cathode for Metal-Air Systems

Description:

Metal-air chemistry has the highest theoretical energy density due to the use of an inexhaustible supply of low-cost O2 discharging 4 electrons per molecule as a cathode. For example, lithium-air yields 13 kWh/kg versus the anemic 0.42 kWh/kg for lithium-ion[6], highlighting the tremendous advantage in energy density of metal-air over existing technology, and important for reducing the overall cost of large scale stationary storage. Historically, technical limiting factors that vary based on the chosen anode material-electrolyte system have prevented the realization of a specific rechargeable chemistry. Current technology is limited by the high overpotentials of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and its reverse reaction, the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), poor cycle life, and high cost of electrodes using platinum electrocatalysts. Applications are sought to develop a rechargeable oxygen cathode for a chosen battery chemistry that (1) is electrically efficient (roundtrip efficiency >75%), (2) is cost-effective, (3) is mechanically and chemically robust in the intended metal-air battery environment, (4) demonstrates good cycle characteristics (thousands of cycles), and (5) is viable for use with the selected metal-air system.

Questions – contact Imre Gyuk, imre.gyuk@hq.doe.gov

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