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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00800

Influence of Al alloying on the electrochemical behavior of Zn electrodes for Zn-air batteries with neutral sodium chloride electrolyte

 Yasin Emre Durmus1*,  Saul Said Montiel Guerrero1, 2, Hermann Tempel1, Florian Hausen1, 3, Hans Kungl1 and Rüdiger-A. Eichel1, 3
  • 1Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Fundamental Electrochemistry (IEK-9), Julich Research Centre, Germany
  • 2Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • 3Institute of Physical Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Zn alloy electrodes containing 10 wt.% Al were prepared to to examine the applicability as anodes in primary Zn–air batteries with neutral 2M NaCl electrolyte. These electrodes were investigated by electrochemical measurements and microscopic techniques (SEM, LSM, AFM). Based on the cyclic voltammetry and intermediate term (24 h) discharge experiments, the only active element in the as-prepared alloy was found to be Zn. It was further confirmed by LSM that Zn rich areas dissolved while Al remained passive during discharge. The passive state of Al was also demonstrated by conductive AFM investigations on the as-cast alloy surfaces. The results on potentiodynamic polarization and weight loss measurements indicated that the alloy electrode was less prone to corrosion than pure Zn electrode. The electrochemical behavior of the electrodes was modified under certain cathodic polarization previous to measurements. Accordingly, originating from Al activation due to application of cathodic potentials, potentiodynamic polarization studies showed a clear shift on the corrosion potentials of alloy towards more negative values. On the basis of these results, with the precondition of Al activation prior to discharge experiments, the effect of Al alloying on the Zn electrodes was revealed as temporarily enhanced potentials on the discharge profiles in comparison to pure Zn electrodes.

Keywords: Metal-air Battery, zinc/aluminium alloy, Neutral aqueous electrolyte, corrosion, Aluminium activation

Received: 06 Sep 2019; Accepted: 06 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Durmus, Montiel Guerrero, Tempel, Hausen, Kungl and Eichel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Yasin Emre Durmus, Julich Research Centre, Institute of Energy and Climate Research - Fundamental Electrochemistry (IEK-9), Jülich, Germany, y.durmus@fz-juelich.de