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Molecules ; 26(8)2021 Apr 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33917004


Solid boosters are an emerging concept for improving the performance and especially the energy storage density of the redox flow batteries, but thermodynamical and practical considerations of these systems are missing, scarce or scattered in the literature. In this paper we will formulate how these systems work from the point of view of thermodynamics. We describe possible pathways for charge transfer, estimate the overpotentials required for these reactions in realistic conditions, and illustrate the range of energy storage densities achievable considering different redox electrolyte concentrations, solid volume fractions and solid charge storage densities. Approximately 80% of charge storage capacity of the solid can be accessed if redox electrolyte and redox solid have matching redox potentials. 100 times higher active areas are required from the solid boosters in the tank to reach overpotentials of <10 mV.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 12(29): 32806-32816, 2020 Jul 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32573199


Garnet-type structured lithium ion conducting ceramics represent a promising alternative to liquid-based electrolytes for all-solid-state batteries. However, their performance is limited by their polycrystalline nature and inherent inhomogeneous current distribution due to different ion dynamics at grains, grain boundaries, and interfaces. In this study, we use a combination of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, distribution of relaxation time analysis, and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), in order to understand the role that bulk, grain boundary, and interfacial processes play in the ionic transport and electrochemical performance of garnet-based cells. Variable temperature impedance analysis reveals the lowest activation energy for Li transport in the bulk of the garnet electrolyte (0.15 eV), consistent with pulsed field gradient NMR spectroscopy measurements (0.14 eV). We also show a decrease in grain boundary activation energy at temperatures below 0 °C, that is followed by the total conductivity, suggesting that the bottleneck to ionic transport resides in the grain boundaries. We reveal that the grain boundary activation energy is heavily affected by its composition that, in turn, is mainly affected by the segregation of dopants and Li. We suggest that by controlling the grain boundary composition, it would be possible to pave the way toward targeted engineering of garnet-type electrolytes and ameliorate their electrochemical performance in order to enable their use in commercial devices.

Nat Commun ; 11(1): 2079, 2020 Apr 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32350275


Driving range and fast charge capability of electric vehicles are heavily dependent on the 3D microstructure of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) and substantial fundamental research is required to optimise electrode design for specific operating conditions. Here we have developed a full microstructure-resolved 3D model using a novel X-ray nano-computed tomography (CT) dual-scan superimposition technique that captures features of the carbon-binder domain. This elucidates how LiB performance is markedly affected by microstructural heterogeneities, particularly under high rate conditions. The elongated shape and wide size distribution of the active particles not only affect the lithium-ion transport but also lead to a heterogeneous current distribution and non-uniform lithiation between particles and along the through-thickness direction. Building on these insights, we propose and compare potential graded-microstructure designs for next-generation battery electrodes. To guide manufacturing of electrode architectures, in-situ X-ray CT is shown to reliably reveal the porosity and tortuosity changes with incremental calendering steps.

Phys Rev E ; 96(5-1): 052903, 2017 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29347656


Solid-oxide fuel cells produce electric current from energy released by a spontaneous electrochemical reaction. The efficiency of these devices depends crucially on the microstructure of their electrodes and in particular on the three-phase boundary (TPB) length, along which the energy-producing reaction occurs. We present a systematic maximization of the TPB length as a function of four readily controllable microstructural parameters, for any given mean hydraulic radius, which is a conventional measure of the permeability to gas flow. We identify the maximizing parameters and show that the TPB length can be increased by a factor of over 300% compared to current common practices. We support this result by calculating the TPB of several numerically simulated structures. We also compare four models for a single intergranular contact in the sintered electrode and show that the model commonly used in the literature is oversimplified and unphysical. We then propose two alternatives.