New breakthroughs in lithium-air battery research The latest results are published in Nature

by:CTECHi     2021-07-06

Lithium-oxygen battery with a long cycle life in an air-like environment [Introduction] Due to its high theoretical specific energy, lithium-air batteries are considered as a potential substitute for lithium-ion batteries. However, to date, such systems are mainly limited to pure oxygen environments and have limited cycle life due to side reactions involving the cathode, anode, and electrolyte. In the presence of N2, CO2 and water vapor, these side reactions may become more complicated. In addition, due to the need to store O2, the volumetric energy density of the lithium-oxygen system may be too small for practical applications. [Introduction] Recently, under the leadership of the team of Professor Amin Salehi-Khojin from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Professor Larry A. Curtiss from Argonne National Laboratory (co-corresponding author), two strategies were adopted in cooperation with Illinois Institute of Technology and California State University. To limit side reactions in lithium-oxygen batteries in a simulated air atmosphere containing representative amounts of O2, N2, CO2, and H2O. First, the team developed a Li2CO3/C coated lithium anode that only allows lithium cations to pass through, thereby protecting the anode from the composition of simulated air. Secondly, a cathode was constructed based on the previously reported molybdenum disulfide nanosheets, and a mixture of ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazole tetrafluoroborate (EMIM-BF4) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was used as Electrolyte. The components of the system work together to prevent the formation of by-products in the presence of CO2 and H2O. It works as a lithium-air battery in a simulated air environment with a cycle life of up to 700 times. Related results were published on Nature with the title 'Alithium–oxygenbatterywithalongcyclelifeinanair-like atmosphere'. [Summary] According to characterization and calculation studies, the protected lithium anode, electrolyte mixture and high-performance air cathode work together to provide a lithium-oxygen battery with long cycle life under simulated air conditions. The energy density of the lithium-air battery with the new structure of this design is much higher than that of the current lithium-ion battery, which is a promising step in this field.

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