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Battery concepts for high density energy storage: Principles and practice. C. Austen Angell
 

Summary: Battery concepts for high density energy storage: Principles and practice.
C. Austen Angell
Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604
The utilization of chemical sources of electrons for technological applications may date
back to the gold-plating technologies of biblical times. Currently, success in this area is
critical if solar energy harnessing is to become efficient and petroleum-consuming power
trains are to be replaced. We review the different technologies under development for
storing and delivering portable energy ("bottled electrons"). Most of the technology in
current use involves the encapsulation of both electron sources and electron sinks, but as
this is both volume-inefficient and dangerous, consideration is also given to devices
under development such as the lithium-air battery, and the more advanced zinc-air battery
in which only the source needs to be "bottled". The latter devices are limited to about 3.0
V by the free energy of formation of Li2O. For higher voltage devices, chemicals that
store oxygen at gigabar effective pressures, and electrolyte systems that can tolerate
voltages above 5V, are needed. In this area, unlike materials science, the technology
developed by nature over 4 bn years of R&D gives little guidance as it has largely been
limited by the decomposition potential of water. The best efforts of humankind in this
area, and the principal stumbling blocks, will be reviewed.

  

Source: Angell, C. Austen - Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University

 

Collections: Materials Science; Chemistry