Novel bifunctional catalysts for rechargeable zinc air batteries

Supervisor: Dr Xunyu Lu 


Oxygen electrocatalysis plays a critical role in energy conversion and storage devices, such as fuel cells and rechargeable zinc-air batteries (ZABs). ZABs possess several intrinsic advantages, including the air/ aqueous compatibility of Zn, high theoretical energy density (1084 Wh /kg), and the low-cost manufacturing. Thus, ZABs have been widely used for medical and telecommunication applications. However, as a secondary battery, several challenges are remaining within ZABs such as their relatively low power density and unsatisfactory rechargeable lifetime. Thus, further development of air electrocatalysts, as a core component for rechargeable ZABs, is urgently required. In this project, a series of cost-effective and highly active catalysts for both oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) will be developed. Their catalytic performances will be evaluated by a series of analytical techniques, and those with exceptional activities toward both OER and ORR will be selected as the air electrocatalysts for ZABs. Eventually, advanced rechargeable ZABs will be constructed, showing high power density, stable discharge voltage and large specific energy density.

The host of this project, Particles and Catalysis Research Group (PARTCAT), is a leading (photo(electro)) catalysis research group within the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). 

Level of difficulty: Challenging

For more information, please contact Dr Xunyu Lu: