• Kyoto University・AIST
  • Research and Development Initiative for Scientific Innovation
    of New Generation Batteries 2
  • RISING2 FY2016〜FY2020

Zinc–Air Battery

Zinc has long been used as an efficient negative electrode material in primary batteries such as manganese dry cells. Primary air cells that use oxygen in air as the active material for the positive electrode, combined with a zinc negative electrode, are widely used in hearing aids. Rechargeable batteries that consist of zinc negative electrodes and air positive electrodes will be used not only in small mobile applications, but also as power sources for EVs, as well as back-up systems for renewable energy.

Features and Advantages

  • Theoretically high specific energy as a result of using the air electrode
  • Safer cell system as a result of an aqueous electrolyte
  • Reasonable cell cost based on the materials used in the cell components

R&D Themes

  • Development of zinc negative electrode with high capacity and long cycle life
  • Development of a highly active catalyst for the positive electrode
  • Proposition of novel cell design to achieve high energy density
zinc-air cell

R&D Strategies

  • Negative (zinc) electrode: ensuring compatibility between loading/utilization of the active mass in the cell and the charge/discharge cycle life
  • Positive (air) electrode: developing a high performance electrocatalyst having bi-functional activity for oxygen reduction/evolution reactions with long cycle life
  • Elucidation of the parameters governing cell performance

Research Results

Achieving high specific energy in a prototype cell using a novel electrocatalyst for the air electrode and a newly developed thick zinc electrode

prototype and performances

The prototype cell (8 Ah-class) and its charge/discharge performances, which achieved a specific energy of 311 Wh/kg.

Crystal structure of SFCGO

Crystal structure of SFCGO as a novel electrocatalyst for the air electrode (neutron Rietveld analysis).

X-ray CT observation

X-ray CT observation of the cross-section of a zinc electrode: we aim to improve the durability of the zinc electrode using this analytical technique.

Cycle characteristics

Cycle characteristics of air electrodes using SFCGO.