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Research points to new electrodes improving the efficiency of Lithium-air batteries

April 06, 2010 | Paul Buckley | 222900783
Batteries with up to three times the energy density of any battery that currently exists may result from work being carried out by a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Yang Shao-Horn, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, says that many groups have been pursuing work on lithium-air batteries, a technology that has potential for achieving great gains in energy density. But there has been a lack of understanding of what kinds of electrode materials could promote the electrochemical reactions that take place in these batteries.

Yang Shao-Horn, an MIT associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, along with some of her students and visiting professor Hubert Gasteiger, reported on a study showing that electrodes with gold or platinum as a catalyst show a much higher level of activity and thus a higher efficiency than simple carbon electrodes in these batteries

The research team has developed a method for analyzing the activity of different catalysts in the batteries, and will be able build on their work to investigate a variety of possible alloys or other materials and examine their safety potential.

The MIT research is described in a paper published in last week’s Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters journal.

Related link: www.mit.edu










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