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Novel Catalytic Air Electrodes for Rechargeable Lithium-Air Batteries

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Jian-ping (Jim) Zheng
Licensing Manager:

Due to the high energy density, lithium-air batteries have become very popular.  One of the most important components of a lithium-air battery system is the air diffusion electrode. The properties of an air electrode directly determine the performance of the entire battery system. The significant components of the air electrode, which are critical for its properties, include the surface area, porosity, thickness, catalysts, conductivity, and polarity for various organic electrolytes.  Among these factors, catalysts for oxygen electrochemical reduction enhance the discharge properties of the lithium-air battery and reduce over-voltage during the discharge. Thereby improving the energy and power densities.

The technology developed is a novel lithium-air battery. The battery includes an anode comprising lithium, a cathode comprising an Ag2Mn8O16 catalyst, and an
electrolyte comprising a lithium salt. The Ag2Mn8O16 particles can range in diameter between 2 nm and 100 nm. The loading of the Ag2Mn8O16 catalyst can range from 5% to 75%.

The anode comprises lithium, which can take few forms including metal, powder, alloy, etc. The cathode may comprise single-wall carbon nanotubes, multi-wall carbon nanotubes, and/or carbon nanofibers. In addition, the cathode may include carbon black, carbon micro beads, and/or activated carbon. In some versions of the technology small and large diameter multi-wall nanotubes, an entanglement of flexible single-wall nanotubes, small diameter multi-wall nanotubes around nanofibers, and/or large diameter multi-wall nanotubes may be included in the cathode. The electrode can take many forms of a lithium salt.