Rechargeable Metal-based Air-breathing batteries

Supervisory team: Dr Dawei Wang and Dr Kuang Hsu Wu

Description: Our body breathes air to produce energy. But have you ever thought a machine can breathe air to generate and store electricity? Air-breathing battery (ABB) can! One apparent advantage of ABB is it burns air, neither coal nor gasoline, which is clean, is virtually infinite in the atmosphere, and most importantly, costs null.

As alternative energy sources are increasingly being exploited as ways of providing sustainable energy, the issue of storage is becoming ever more important. For applications such as the electric vehicle market there is a pressing need for batteries with higher specific energy (that is, energy per unit mass) than is currently available. Coupled to this need is the ability for batteries to be able to power a vehicle for 500 miles for a single charge. ABB is the choice.
It is easy for body to burn air by enzymatic catalysis. But it is difficult for mankind to replicate that process in a man-made ABB system. The core challenge with ABB technology is designing highly efficient artificial electrocatalysts for air "burning". We have been exploring a number of materials that show great promise for increasing the catalytic efficiency for this purpose. We realized in recent work the importance of synergy from different functional materials.
This project is inviting you to join us to explore potential material combinations to develop artificial air-burning electrocatalyst for advancing the ABB technology

Suitable for: Chemical Engineers and Industrial Chemistry students. 

Level of difficulty:Challenging