Long life aluminium-air battery resolves rechargeable challenges

January 08, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Fuji Pigment Co. Ltd., has developed a new type of aluminium-air battery which is rechargeable by refilling salty or normal water. The battery has a modified structure which ensures longer battery lifetime.

Dr. Ryohei Mori at Fuji Pigment Co. Ltd. has invented the new type of aluminium-air battery which uses a modified the aluminium-air battery structure by placing ceramic and carbonaceous materials between aqueous electrolyte and electrodes as an internal layer. Owing to the battery's modified structure, anode corrosion and byproduct accumulation were suppressed, which has resulted in longer battery lifetime.

The 0.7-0.8 V aluminum-air battery, which provides 400-800 mA/cell, claims to have a theoretical specific energy level of 8,100 Wh/kg and has the second largest capacity among various types of potential secondary batteries. Theoretical specific energy of a commercialized lithium-ion battery is 120-200 Wh/kg which means that the aluminium-air battery possesses theoretical capacity more than 40 times as large as that of a lithium-ion battery.

Although commercialized rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are widely used in mobile phones, laptop computers, and similar electronic devices, their energy density is still insufficient to permit their use in electric vehicles at an industrial level with economical cost. The highest energy storage technologies faced by recent researchers are the metal-air batteries. Several metal-air batteries such as lithium, iron, aluminium, magnesium and zinc-air, etc. have been investigated due to their promising energy densities. Among them, aluminium is an abundant, attractive anode material for energy storage and conversion because of its high specific capacity, highly negative standard electrode potential. In addition, aluminium is the most recycled metal in the world and is economically cheap.

The new battery  claims to overcome a major barrier to commercialization which has been the high corrosion rate of aluminium during the electrochemical process. In addition, byproducts such as Al2O3 and Al(OH)3 accumulate at electrodes and hinder further battery reaction.

Fuji Pigment claims that the aluminium-air battery invented by Dr.Mori can work by refilling salty water or normal water once in a while.  The new battery can be manufactured and work in an ambient atmosphere because it is stable in ambient air conditions and there

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