Investigation of Electrochemical Performance of Li-O2 Batteries Using Catalyst Containing Carbon Nanotube Cathodes

Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Grand Ballroom (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
N. Chawla, A. Chamaani, M. Safa, and B. El-Zahab (Florida International University)
Batteries with high specific energy densities have attracted a lot of attention due to their demand in electric vehicles (EVs). Due to the increase in demand for energy storage devices for applications such as load-levelling of electrical energy supply and demand propulsion for electric vehicles and microelectro-mechanical devices, the research for new classes of electrode materials that provide high energy, high power and cycle life longer than lithium-ion batteries is being motivated. Lithium air batteries have high specific energy density and they can achieve four times higher energy density than the current lithium ion batteries. The search for high energy density batteries has motivated the research in lithium-air batteries.

Catalysts have been shown to improve both the battery capacity and the recyclability of these batteries when used in cathodes. Several catalysts have been discovered for lithium air batteries. Debart et al. used several catalysts for lithium oxygen batteries with non-aqueous electrolyte. The electro-catalysts used by them included Pt, La0.8Sr0.2MnO3, Fe2O3, NiO, CuO, CoFe2O4. Co3O4 exhibited highest discharge capacity and best cycling performance. Later Debart et al. examined manganese oxides as catalysts for lithium oxygen batteries. Mn3O4, bulk Mn2O3, bulk α, β, λ, γ-MnO2, α-MnO2 nanowires and β-MnO2 nanowires were used as catalysts. The air cathode with α-MnO2 as the catalyst showed the highest capacity of about 3000 mAh/g (carbon) Lu et al. reported ORR studies on polycrystalline metal catalysts of palladium, platinum, ruthenium, gold and glassy carbon surfaces in non-aqueous electrolyte.

In our study, we investigate various modes of loading palladium-based catalysts and their effect on the capacity and round-trip efficiency of lithium-air batteries. Our aim is to increase the first discharge capacity, improve the recyclability, increase capacity retention and improve the recyclability of the battery. The loading and morphology the catalyst-CNT cathode is studied using transmission electron microscopy. Electrochemical testing using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and charge-discharge cycling is also investigated. Voltammetry, Raman spectroscopy, FTIR, XRD, UV/Vis spectroscopy and visual inspection of the discharge products using scanning electron microscopy confirms the increased stability of the electrolyte due to this encapsulation and suggest that this approach could lead the increasing Li-O2 battery capacity and cyclability performance.