ADVERTISEMENT

Realization Of Low-Cost Energy Storage And Conversion Technology: A Promising Air Electrode For Zn Air Battery

As a promising post-lithium-ion battery technology, rechargeable Zn air batteries have attracted intense attention due to their high theoretical energy and power density. However, the slow kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in the air electrode has been the technical challenge for the practical application of Zn air battery. As such, the development of bifunctional electrocatalysts that can efficiently catalyze both ORR and OER is of prime importance. [1]

The state-of-art bifunctional electrocatalysts for ORR and OER in Zn air battery are noble-metal based materials, such as the mixture of platinum and Ruthenium oxide or the mixture of platinum and Iridium oxide. However, the commercialization of Zn air battery is greatly hampered by two fundamental factors. The first one is the high cost, scarcity of the noble metal, and the second one is the poor stability of the electrocatalysts in cyclic charging/discharging environment. Therefore, it is highly desirable but challenging to develop noble-metal-free catalysts for ORR and OER with high catalytic activity and good durability.

ADVERTISEMENT

Researchers in Canada have developed a cost-effective, high-performance electrode material based on transition metal oxide with the perovskite structure for the efficient energy storage and conversion in Zn Air batteries.Ā 

Researchers have shown that a perovskite oxide could be easily evolved into a hybrid catalyst through the facile surface chemistry approach. A small amount of carbon skin along with the iron carbide nanoparticles led to the remarkably enhanced electronic conductivity, heterogeneous exchange rate as well as the durability in oxygen electrocatalysis. As-obtained perovskite-based hybrid catalyst exemplified in their study is a stable, efficient, and tunable bifunctional catalyst for ORR and OER to substitute for the noble metals in Zn air battery.

The derived perovskite oxide is a good support material thanks to its reasonable reactivity and chemical stability. Iron carbide has a unique electronic structure, and therefore, can achieve superior catalytic activity. The application of iron carbide combined with perovskites is expected to modify the structural and electronic properties of the catalyst, thereby beneficial for the high performance.

Finally, the in situ formed carbon could (1) ensure strongly correlated interfaces, which helps extend the surface utilization and eliminate conductivity limitations of perovskite, (2) encapsulate iron carbide nanoparticles, enabling sufficient durability of iron carbide in the battery, and (3) catalyze reaction as demonstrated by many researchers.

ADVERTISEMENT

As such, the significance of their study is two-fold: First of all, it presents an efficient, affordable, tunable and robust catalyst for Zn air battery; secondly, this unique route indeed shows the potential in designing well-defined and high-quality catalysts for energy storage and conversion devices.

While there’s still more work to be done, the new research findings could help researchers design Zn air battery systems that use these types of novel materials. Next, the research team is turning its focus to stabilizing the battery in order to prevent its swift degradation.

These findings are described in the article entitledĀ A facile surface chemistry approach to bifunctional excellence for perovskite electrocatalysis, recently published in the journalĀ Nano Energy.Ā [2] This work was conducted byĀ Dr. Bin Hua, Dr. Meng Li and Dr. Jing-Li Luo (University of Alberta, Canada).

References:

  1. Bin Hua, Meng Li, Ya-Qian Zhang, Yi-Fei Sun, Jing-Li Luo, All-In-One Perovskite Catalyst: Smart Controls of Architecture and Composition toward Enhanced Oxygen/ Hydrogen Evolution Reactions, Adv. Energy Mater., 2017, 7, 1700666.
  2. Bin Hua, Meng Li, Jing-Li Luo, A facile surface chemistry approach to bifunctional excellence for perovskite electrocatalysis, Nano Energy, 2018, 49, 117.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

The Best Way To Reduce Strain On Planet To Cease Consumption Of Meat And Dairy

An analysis on the impact of industrial farming suggests that ceasing the consumption of meat and dairy products may be […]

Minimizing Hand Foot And Mouth Disease Effects With Flavonoid Compounds

Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD) typically affects children and is caused by human enteroviruses. Common symptoms of HFMD include […]

Cell Culture: From Industrial Brewing To Transforming The Science Of Medicine

Safe medical treatments are crucial tools in the fight against human diseases. Ensuring that medical treatments are safe inevitably requires […]

Catalysts In The Chemical Industry

The chemical industry influences all our lives daily, everything from the components in the screen you are reading this article […]

The Friend Of My Enemy Is My Enemy: Resistance-Conferring Symbionts As A Challenge For Biological Control

Tiny parasitic wasps are important natural enemies of aphids and, therefore, a farmer’s best friends. They are bred in great […]

The Density Of Metals

The density of metals ranges fromĀ Osmium at the highest density to lithium at the lowest density of any metal. Knowing […]

Postpartum Depressive Symptoms: They Donā€™t Always Just Go Away

Being pregnant and becoming a mother was an overwhelming experience for “Alice.” She had trouble sleeping, felt apathetic, and she […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?