An Electrochemical Analogy to the Fuel Injector: The Electrochemical Direct Injection Reactor

Wednesday, October 14, 2015: 11:40
106-A (Phoenix Convention Center)
G. Davies (MAE/ACEE Princeton University), A. Hsieh (Princeton University), and D. A. Steingart (Princeton University)
ElectroChemical Direct Injection (ECDI) is a newly proposed battery architecture. ECDI involves the direct injection of small quantities of cathode and anode materials into a reactor, where they are rapidly discharged, then flushed out. The process repeats, and much like a standard combustion engine, the quantity of fuel injected, in addition to the rate of discharge, can be tailored to meet the power demand in an efficient way. We investigate some of the most interesting electrochemical and mechanical features of the system, and present some key results illustrating the promise of such an approach. Results from the discharge rate performance and energy efficiency of the system are presented, to highlight the benefits of this architecture.

From an electrochemical perspective, using a high-surface area, nano-structured zinc [1], we demonstrate that high discharge utilization efficiencies (% of theoretical capacity) are possible in this free standing system. At 3C rates of discharge, efficiencies of up to 80% are achievable with this zinc morphology. Even at rates up to 30C, efficiencies are up to 50% are still achievable. The system can be improved through optimization of the electrolyte, and with various additives. The benefits of electrolyte optimization and additives will be discussed, including a mechanistic study of the additives.