Lithium−Air Battery: Promise and Challenges

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (Impact Factor: 7.46). 07/2010; 1(14). DOI: 10.1021/jz1005384


The lithium−air system captured worldwide attention in 2009 as a possible battery for electric vehicle propulsion applications. If successfully developed, this battery could provide an energy source for electric vehicles rivaling that of gasoline in terms of usable energy density. However, there are numerous scientific and technical challenges that must be overcome if this alluring promise is to turn into reality. The fundamental battery chemistry during discharge is thought to be the electrochemical oxidation of lithium metal at the anode and reduction of oxygen from air at the cathode. With aprotic electrolytes, as used in Li-ion batteries, there is some evidence that the process can be reversed by applying an external potential, i.e., that such a battery can be electrically recharged. This paper summarizes the authors’ view of the promise and challenges facing development of practical Li−air batteries and the current understanding of its chemistry. However, it must be appreciated that this perspective represents only a snapshot in a very rapidly evolving picture.

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    • "Lithium-oxygen batteries, based on the reaction of lithium with oxygen to form oxide species during the discharge process, are very promising and attractive energy storage systems due to their high energy content. Indeed, the formation of Li2O2 in this battery leads theoretically to an energy density approaching 3500 Wh Kg -1 , basing on the mass of the discharge products [7] [8]. Increasing need of lithium for application in energy storage, in particular to fulfill the projected 1-billion 40KW h lithium batteries per year for EV application, led to severe concerns on the long-term availability and cost of this metal [9] [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Herein we studied a rechargeable sodium–oxygen cell operating at room temperature and employing a cathode comprising multi-walled carbon nanotubes coated on a gas diffusion layer. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is investigated and improved by optimizing the cathode configuration. We demonstrated by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements that, using a low-volatile tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (TEG-DME)-sodium trifluoromethanesulfonate (NaCF3SO3) electrolyte solution, the major discharge product is NaO2. Moreover, we originally demonstrated that controlled amount of superoxide formed at the cathode side by discharge facilitates the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), thus resulting in a charge-discharge polarization as low as 400 mV. The developed system can deliver a capacity of 500 mAh g−1 with an energy efficiency as high as 83% for 60 charge-discharge cycles. The data here reported represent a step-forward in the development of an efficient sodium-air battery.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
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    • "Among the myriad electrochemical energy storage technologies explored so far, the lithium-air (Li-air), also known as Li-O 2 battery, has emerged as one of the most promising energy storage technologies with a possibility of having theoretical energy density almost 10 times more than that of conventional lithium-ion batteries [8]-[10]. In most common configuration, a lithium–air battery comprises a lithium-metal anode, an ion conducting electrolyte and an air electrode [11]. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
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    • "The theoretical energy density of the lithium-air battery is close to 13,000 Wh/kg excluding oxygen and carbon, which is comparable with gasoline (13,200 Wh/kg), and 5.5 kWh/kg if oxygen and carbon are taken into account [9]. The aprotic lithium-air battery consists of Li anode, an electrolyte and porous carbon as cathode, as shown in Fig. 1 [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lithium-air batteries have attracted extensive attention in the general energy field. To enhance the practical applicability of lithium-air batteries, the overpotential caused by the diffusion of oxygen in the cathode, a significant component of the total overpotential, should be well comprehended. In this work, a wetted model is derived to evaluate the energy loss associated with liquid electrolytes. The oxygen diffusion in both electrolytes and porous cathodes is investigated systematically by taking oxygen concentration distribution into account. By analyzing the factors associated with cathode overpotential, such as the cathode thickness of and the viscosity of electrolyte, our work facilitates the improvement in the electrochemical performance of lithium-air batteries.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Energy
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