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A Molten Salt Lithium-Oxygen Battery

Giordani, Vincent and Tozier, Dylan and Tan, Hongjin and Burke, Colin M. and Gallant, Betar M. and Uddin, Jasim and Greer, Julia R. and McCloskey, Bryan D. and Chase, Gregory V. and Addison, Dan (2016) A Molten Salt Lithium-Oxygen Battery. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138 (8). pp. 2656-2663. ISSN 0002-7863.

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Despite the promise of extremely high theoretical capacity (2Li + O_2 ↔ Li_2O_2, 1675 mAh per gram of oxygen), many challenges currently impede development of Li/O_2 battery technology. Finding suitable electrode and electrolyte materials remains the most elusive challenge to date. A radical new approach is to replace volatile, unstable and air-intolerant organic electrolytes common to prior research in the field with alkali metal nitrate molten salt electrolytes and operate the battery above the liquidus temperature (>80 °C). Here we demonstrate an intermediate temperature Li/O_2 battery using a lithium anode, a molten nitrate-based electrolyte (e.g., LiNO_3–KNO_3 eutectic) and a porous carbon O_2 cathode with high energy efficiency (∼95%) and improved rate capability because the discharge product, lithium peroxide, is stable and moderately soluble in the molten salt electrolyte. The results, supported by essential state-of-the-art electrochemical and analytical techniques such as in situ pressure and gas analyses, scanning electron microscopy, rotating disk electrode voltammetry, demonstrate that Li_2O_2 electrochemically forms and decomposes upon cycling with discharge/charge overpotentials as low as 50 mV. We show that the cycle life of such batteries is limited only by carbon reactivity and by the uncontrolled precipitation of Li_2O_2, which eventually becomes electrically disconnected from the O_2 electrode.

Item Type:Article
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Greer, Julia R.0000-0002-9675-1508
Additional Information:© 2016 American Chemical Society. Received: November 9, 2015; Published: February 12, 2016. This work is financially supported as part of the FY 2014 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement, under Award Number DE-FOA-0000991 (0991-1872), by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) on behalf of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FOA-0000991
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160307-103941099
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Official Citation:A Molten Salt Lithium–Oxygen Battery Vincent Giordani, Dylan Tozier, Hongjin Tan, Colin M. Burke, Betar M. Gallant, Jasim Uddin, Julia R. Greer, Bryan D. McCloskey, Gregory V. Chase, and Dan Addison Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016 138 (8), 2656-2663 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b11744
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65111
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Mar 2016 00:17
Last Modified:08 Mar 2016 03:49

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