Aqueous Battery Better than Lithium-Ion Battery
If one wonders around the surroundings, one can easily spot the role of Lithium-ion batteries in our life starting from our laptops to cell phones to holiday toys. They may have a cheaper use case but the safety is questionably iterable as they can catch fire.
So for safety, one may use Zinc-based aqueous battery that can avoid fire hazards, rather than using a conventional chemical solvent, it uses water-based electrolyte. But the high performance and long life needed for practical applications are lacking due to uncontrolled dendrite growth.
But there is good news, as a new 3D zinc-manganese nano-alloy anode has overcome the limitations reported by the researchers in Nature Communications. This would lead us to the high-performance, stable, dendrite-free aqueous battery using seawater as the electrolyte.
Electric Vehicles at Benefit
The findings can be a new promise for energy storage and other applications, which includes electric vehicles according to the co-corresponding author for the work and an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston – Xiaonan Shan. He added on by saying that it provides a high energy density, low-cost, stable battery with its usage in reliable, rechargeable batteries.
An in situ optical visualization technique was developed by Shan and UH Ph.D. student Guangxia Feng which allowed them in real-time to directly observe the reaction dynamics on the anode. This will lead to directly capturing the evidence and reaction kinetics visualization helping them to fully understand the phenomena that were not an easy process before.
How do things work?
This information to study that stability was maintained by the novel 3D zinc-manganese nano alloy anode throughout 1,000 hours of charge/discharge cycling without degrading under high current density (80 mA/cm2).
Current from a battery is released by the anode while electrolytes are the medium that counts for the flow of ionic charge between the cathode and anode. And for this Aqueous Battery, making use of seawater cuts cost by not using pricy purified water.
On conventional batteries, the material of anode in aqueous battery are likely to dendrites causing the battery to lose power. So the method used in this to minimize and suppress dendrite formation in aqueous systems is by using a three-dimensional structure by controlling surface reaction thermodynamics with a zinc alloy and reaction kinetics.
In addition to the zinc-manganese alloy, other metal alloys are also being investigated by researchers at UH and the University of Central Florida as per Shan.