Zinc air battery is expensive and difficult to charge, in the past have not been able to a large number of applications in mobile phones, laptops and other consumer electronics products, but more recently, from the university of Sydney Australia and Singapore nanyang technological university's researchers say that they have found new breakthrough method, you can use the lower cost of electricity catalyst to help achieve rechargeable zinc air battery.If you can use this method to produce a battery, you will have the opportunity to compete with lithium-ion batteries.
Zinc is a very cheap and abundant reserve of the metal, which will be for the zinc air battery anode (cathode) using zinc alloy, the cathode (the anode) material from a large amount of oxygen in the air, because of the low toxicity of less harmful effect on the environment, and light weight, stable security, can store 5 times more energy than lithium ion battery, if developed, will be the hottest star of tomorrow in the battery industry.
Zinc air batteries were first discovered in the early 19th century, and by 1997, the slovenian inventor Miro Zoric developed the first rechargeable zinc air battery and used in small and medium-sized buses.But the zinc air battery common use only in a small electronic devices, such as: hearing AIDS, electronic watches, railway signals equipment, etc., this is because of the high cost of zinc air battery is limited by recharging and easy spontaneous reaction with oxygen to produce self discharge faults.
The key to the preservation of the zinc - free battery, according to wikipedia, is the seal, which cannot be removed from the battery cathode unless the battery is used immediately.According to the simulation test shows that zinc air battery at room temperature, storage power down to 95% a year later and store electricity dropped to 90% after 2 years, storage capacity is still 85% four years later, but as long as tore seals, battery will trigger and began to work, under the room temperature environment and does not load, according to the size of the battery of different specifications, 3 ~ 12 weeks after the battery will drop 50%, more than 20 weeks power down to 0 ~ 10%.
Currently, there are zinc air batteries that claim to be rechargeable. In the process of charging and discharging, they need to use expensive metal catalysts such as "platinum" and "iridium oxide" to promote the reduction and production of oxygen.To overcome this problem, researchers have now come up with new technologies to create a bifunctional oxygen electric catalyst, published in the international journal of advanced materials.
The new technology is to master the composition, size and crystallinity of iron, cobalt and nickel oxides to produce electric catalysts.Study lead author and university of Sydney Australia Yuan professor Chen said, with the development of new catalysts of excellent performance rechargeable zinc air battery, the researchers found within 120 hours after 60 cycle discharge/charge, battery power loss only less than 10%.
Zinc air battery raw material costs are far lower than lithium ion battery, if scientists really overcome the charge and discharge, the rechargeable zinc air battery in the future market potential, or permission to become both the energy science and technology industry of environmental protection, and contributing to electric power source.