Rechargeable Metal-Air Batteries

Objective: Improve the performance of metal-air batteries.


Summary: Because of their extremely high theoretical energy densities, metal-air batteries have long been considered as a replacement for combustion engines in vehicles. However, many obstacles have been encountered in understanding the discharge process, and improving the rechargeability of full cells. Our laboratory works specifically with lithium-air and magnesium-air systems. Our approach combines continuum-scale modeling with targeted experiments to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the factors that most strongly impact performance in metal-air systems. We seek to characterize the primary discharge phases as a function of charge/discharge extent, charge/discharge rate, and electrolyte/solvent composition. Additionally, we hope to illuminate the dependence of oxide formation rates at the cathode on different cathode materials.

Parallel operating metal-air charge/discharge cells.




Lithium-Air Battery Modeling

Objective: Develop a continuum-scale three-phase model to study the transport and kinetic processes in a Li-Air battery.


Summary: Numereous research efforts have been dedicated to studying lithium-air batteries. One of the major problems of a lithium-air battery is that the discharge products are not soluble in the non-aqueous electrolyte. These discharge products deposit on the surface of the porous cathode and passivate the electrode. As a concenquence of the deposition, there are three phases in a lithium-air cathode: the liquid electrolyte phase, the solid carbon backbone phase, and the discharge product deposition phase (as shown by the figure below). In our present work, we will develop a continuum-scale three-phase model to simulate the transport and kinetic processes in a lithium-air battery.

There are three phases in the porous cathode of a lithium-air battery: the liquid electrolyte phase, the solid carbon backbone phase, and the discharge product deposition phase.

Upcoming Talks

September, 2018

Saber will be giving a talk, "A Complete Characterization of Transport and Thermodynamic Properties for LiPF6 in PC Solutions," at the ISE Conference in Bologna, Italy.

September, 2018

Priyam will be giving a talk, "Non-Isobaric Electrochemical Transport Modelling: Case Study for Nafion," at the ISE Conference in Bologna, Italy.

September, 2018

Howie will be giving a talk, "Parameterizing Large-Format Prismatic Lithium-Ion Cells with Lock-In Thermography" at the ISE Conference in Bologna, Italy.

Recent News

June, 2018

Guanchen was invited to give a talk, "Electrochemomechanics and the Critical Current in LLZO," at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, California.

May, 2018

Guanchen gave a talk, "Electrochemomechanics in Doped Garnet Lithium-Ion Conductors," at the ECS Conference in Seattle, Washington.
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May, 2018

Priyam gave a talk, "Mechanical Basis of Nafion's High-Frequency Inductive Impedance," at the ECS Conference in Seattle, Washington.
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April, 2018

Guanchen gave a talk, "Electrochemomechanics of space-charge layers in LLZO near lithium metal," at the MRS Spring Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
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April, 2018

Guanchen gave a talk, "Modelling Space Charging in Multi-carrier Solid Electrolytes," at the ModVal Conference in Aarau, Switzerland.
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Recent Publications