Research Topic

Low-Cost Electrochemical Energy Storage Devices: Zinc-/Sodium-Ion Batteries

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Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been widely used in portable electronic devices and electric vehicles due to their high energy density, long life, and charge retention capability. However, the high prices caused by scarce Li resources and safety issues surrounding its battery chemistry restrict their ...

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been widely used in portable electronic devices and electric vehicles due to their high energy density, long life, and charge retention capability. However, the high prices caused by scarce Li resources and safety issues surrounding its battery chemistry restrict their further development in large-scale grid applications. Instead, due to the advantages of abundant raw materials, low price, safety, and environmental friendliness, sodium-/zinc-ion batteries have been regarded as the most potential system in the field of large-scale electrochemical energy storage. Although a great deal of basic research has been done in recent years to improve the electrochemical performance of related electrode materials, there is still a gap with their practical applications. As such, further work is required to carry out fundamental science and technology research for low-cost, long-life sodium-/zinc-ion batteries based on theoretical analysis and experimental research.

Beyond the gap with practical applications, other serious issues still exist in aqueous battery systems with high-activity aqueous electrolytes, such as the dissolution of the cathode material, the formation of zinc dendrites, zinc corrosion, and zinc passivation, which has seriously restricted their further development and practical applications. For sodium-ion batteries, the inherent drawbacks of low energy density as compared to currently commercialized LIBs greatly limit the pace of their practical application; thus, developing high voltage-resistant electrolytes is needed for this system.

Further research efforts should be devoted to studying the working mechanism and capacity attenuation mechanism of sodium-/zinc-ion batteries, by combining theoretical and experimental results, thus revealing the intrinsic relationship among the cathode/anode materials, electrolytes, and electrochemical properties. Through optimizing the relevant parameters, researchers can make real the all-round design concept of battery from material to device, and develop high-energy density, long life-cycle, safe, and reliable low-cost electrochemical energy storage devices, laying a solid foundation for their practical applications

This Research Topic will focus on the development of electrodes and electrolytes for low-cost electrochemical energy storage devices for future large-scale applications, mainly including Zinc-ion batteries and Sodium-ion batteries; however, other low-cost battery chemistries are also encouraged. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

 • the development of high-performance cathodes and high-stability anodes for Zn/Na-ion batteries
 • the optimization and development of electrolytes for Zn/Na-ion batteries
 • theoretical, computational, or experimental insights on electrodes and electrolytes for Zn/Na-ion batteries
 • exploring new energy storage mechanisms for Zn-ion batteries
 • the development of electrodes and electrolytes for other low-cost electrochemical energy storage devices, e.g., K-ion batteries, dual-ion batteries, redox flow batteries, etc.


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