Duration: Jan 2019 – Dec 2021
Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Zinc-Air-Batteries for environmentally friendly, explosion-proof and rechargeable energy storage on an industrial scale
Rechargeble zinc-air-batteries provide a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and safe technology for the storage of electric energy. Single-use zinc-air coin cells are used as the standard battery in hearing aids wordwide due to their compact design, cost-efficient production and the absence of toxic compounds. This R&D group headed by VARTA Microbattery GmbH covers the complete knowledge from raw materials, preliminary research results on rechargeable zinc-air batteries, detailed analytical procedures and equipment, materials properties for long-term stability and finally marketing of the battery setup. Research is focused on an innovative zinc electrode, the bifunctional gas diffusion electrode (GDE) and an optimized cell system. The rechargeability of the zinc-air cell shall be realized by a porous electrode which is perfused by a water-based electrolyte. Femtosecond laser structuring guarantees the enlargement of the active surface area of the GDE and controls its wettability. Final goal of the project is a long-term stable zinc-air battery system with a total output power of 100 W. Possible customers of the innovative technology are all industries with a demand for flexible energy storage in low-emission or protected areas and in hazardous environments.