USYD Develops Re-Chargeable Zinc-Air Batteries
In partnership with Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University, chemical engineers at the University of Sydney (USYD) have developed re-chargeable zinc-air batteries.
The innovative development could replace popular lithium ion batteries, commonly used in many electronic devices.
The development could hold significant future potential, as lithium-ion batteries were famously blamed for explosions caused by Samsung’s faulty Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
Research co-author Dr Li Wei, from the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, states that trials of the new zinc air batteries have demonstrated excellent rechargeability, notably a less than 10% battery efficacy drop over 60 discharging/charging cycles of 120 hours.
The batteries have taken advantage of cheaper catalysts, produced through simultaneous control of the composition, size and crystallinity of metal oxides as iron, cobalt and nickel.
As published in Advanced Materials, lead author Professor Yuan Chen, says zinc-air batteries have traditionally been limited to a small sector of electronics (e.g. hearing aids, film cameras, rail way signal devices) due to expensive metal catalyst components as platinum and iridium oxide.
The university is pleased to solve “fundamental technological challenges to realise more sustainable metal-air batteries for society”.