Rechargeable Zinc Based Batteries for Large Scale Storage

E.S. Takeuchi, A.C. Marschilok, K.J. Takeuchi
Stony Brook University,
United States

Keywords: battery, zinc, aqueous


High-energy, long-lasting, and cost-effective energy storage is paramount for widespread implementation of intermittent renewable energy sources in the electric grid. Electrochemical energy storage solutions are versatile with possible applications including energy arbitrage, generation capacity deferral, ramping, transmission, and distribution capacity deferral. Li-ion batteries are currently the most common commonly deployed for these applications, yet zinc is an important anode alternative for stationary rechargeable batteries. While zinc has lower gravimetric theoretical capacity than lithium, the volumetric capacity is >2X larger making the system attractive for stationary storage applications. Further, aqueous zinc systems have low cost, high natural abundance, and scalable processing as they do not require the use of dry rooms. Aqueous zinc batteries may also provide improved safety as they do not contain flammable organic solvent based electrolytes. Implementation of aqueous zinc battery technologies requires compatible cathodes that can operate within the water stability window, are reversible, and have long cycle life. This presentation provides examples of a range of transition metal oxides as cathode materials in aqueous zinc batteries. The impact of synthesis on the material and the resultant delivered capacity and capacity retention are considered. Further, it is demonstrated that the interaction with the electrolyte is critical where the electrolyte can influence not only the electrochemistry of the cathode, but also the zinc-electrolyte interphase.