Creating a fibrous and conductive cathode from a mix of copper, phosphorus, and sulfur served as a catalyst, dramatically speeding up oxygen’s reaction with water. This insight produced batteries that could be charged and discharged quickly and had high capacity, 460 watt-hours per kilogram (compared with about 75 Wh/kg for standard zinc cells and 120 Wh/kg for scaled-up lithium-ion systems). The batteries were stable for thousands of cycles of charge and discharge.

Zn-air batteries (ZABs) are one of the promising next-generation global portfolio energy storage technologies because of their unique half-open systems (atmospheric oxygen fuel on air cathode), significant theoretical energy density (1086 and 1370 Wh kg−1 for including and excluding oxygen, respectively), environmental benignity, and abundant resources. In our work, commercially plausible one-ampere-hour (Ah) scale flexible ZPCs are presented with ultrahigh cell-level energy densities (460 Wh kgcell−1 and 1389 Wh l-1) over a wide range of temperature (-20 to 80 oC) with a high rate capacity of 5-200 mA cm-2 over 6000 cycles, which is significantly higher than the commercial Li-ion batteries and other secondary batteries. These values allow for the driving range of ~1000 miles per charge, 100% charging capability within 15 min, and the mileage durability of ~one million miles.

Tags: Batteries, Zinc-Air Batteries, Electric Vehicle, Catalysts, Zinc, Energy Storage.

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