Nano Particle-Decorated Graphene-Enabled High-Efficiency Bifunctional Catalysts for Lithium-Air Batteries

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
10 c
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1240 McCook Avenue, Dayton, OH, 45404-1059
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Zhenning Yu
(937) 331-9884
Business Contact:
Borz Jang
(937) 903-0136
Research Institute:

The primary objective of this Phase-I research is to demonstrate the technical feasibility and commercial viability of a new generation of high-efficiency bi-functional electro-catalysts for use in the Li-air cathode. The catalyst is based on nano-scaled noble metal and/or transition metal oxide particles uniformly dispersed on the surfaces of nano graphene sheets. The specific goals of Phase-I tasks are to: (1) Demonstrate that nano particles of noble metals (e.g., Au and Pt particles with a diameter & lt; 5 nm) and transition metal oxides (e.g., Co3O4 and Mn3O4 particles with a diameter & lt; 10 nm) can be synthesized and uniformly dispersed on graphene surfaces. (2) Identify an initial set of procedures and conditions for synthesizing these catalyst nano particle-decorated graphene composites. (3) Evaluate the electro-chemical performance of these composite electro-catalysts and down-select the most viable electro-catalysts for further studies in Phase II. A well-configured Li-O2 battery can achieve an energy density of 1-3 kWh/kg, 5-15 times greater than that of the state-of-the-art Li-ion battery. However, several technical barriers have hitherto impeded the practical use of Li-air cells. The proposed research will overcome three of the major technical barriers (low achievable energy density, poor cycle efficiency, and low power density), which are related to poor catalyst effectiveness, low catalyst utilization rate, and large lithium oxide or peroxide sizes at the cathode. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed technology solves long-standing barriers that have prevented the more widespread implementation of Li-air batteries for EV and HEV applications. This technology will further enhance the acceptance of Li batteries by dramatically improving cycle life, cycle and energy efficiency, electrode functionality, and power output. This breakthrough electrode technology has the capability to offer EVs a mileage range competitive with the mileage range achieved with gasoline engines. Commercialization of this technology will leverage the transition from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs, provide a strong foundation for Li battery production in the US, and position the US to take the lead in accelerating the emergence of a vibrant EV industry

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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