Zinc Ion Batteries: an Economic and Ecologic Alternative for Large Scale Energy Storage – ZIB

Electrochemical energy storage systems are currently relative expensive, and in many cases are characterized by low safety and high toxicity, in terms of high risk of flammability, organic electrolyte leakage, and presence of toxic elements such as cobalt. However, energy storage systems are essential for an optimized use of the energy harvested from renewable sources, and for the necessary adjustments that a fluctuating electricity supply needs before being connected to an electric power grid.  At present, established technologies such as lead/gel, NiCd, NiMH and, Li-Ion/LFP are considered the benchmark. With regard to critical elements such as lead, Cd and lithium, favorable alternative technologies offering a higher level of environmental safety are of principal interest.

In this respect, the aqueous zinc-based storage technology appears to be a very attractive economic alternative strategy. In addition, zinc is easier to recycle than lithium.

Due to the problem of the formation of zinc dendrites, which remains unsolved, earlier zinc-based cell concepts (such as the NiOOH/Zn cell) have not yet been able to penetrate in the market. Furthermore, in the case of the alkaline zinc/air cell, the low energy yield (~50%) and carbonate formation are two major disadvantages. This consortium will develop an almost pH-neutral zinc-ion cell, which will have a higher or comparably high energy density than NiMH or Li-Ion/LFP. Such aqueous Zn-ion battery (ZIB) will be constituted of a metallic Zn anode, and a cathode based either on manganese oxide or on Prussian blue analogues (PBAs).

Within the scope of the consortium, the transfer of the developed Zn-ion technology from the laboratory scale to an industrial battery level will be pursued. Moreover, it is further planned to develop an aqueous ZIB as a demonstrator with a typical working voltage of 12/24/48 V

Publications

G. Zampardi, F. La Mantia, ”Prussian Blue Analogues as Aqueous Zn-ion Batteries Electrodes: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives ”, Current Opinion in Electrochemistry 21, 84 -92 (2020).



Funding institution and program: Federal Ministry for Education and Research – BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung).
Grant agreement number: FKZ 03XP0204A
Project acronym: ZIB
Coordinator of the Consortium: Prof. Fabio La Mantia
Host Institution (HI): Universität Bremen
Funding: 672.362 €
Duration of the project: Start date: 2019-01-01
End date: 2021-12-31