Markus Gehring

 

Production and electrochemical Characterisation of efficient Cathodes for Metal-Air Batteries

Functional schematic of a zinc-air battery Copyright: M. Gehring Functional schematic of a zinc-air battery

Primary Zinc-Air batteries have been established on the market in the 1970s. For some time now, the development of secondary, i.e. re-chargeable zinc-air batteries, has been a focus of scientific research, again, to conserve resources and for reasons of sustainability. Limiting factor for energy-efficient secondary zinc-air batteries are, by far, air cathodes that allow for a decent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) as well as an oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at the three phase boundary of electrolyte, non-noble catalyst and atmosphere.

New microstructures and methods of catalyst integration are necessary to optimise reaction processes. To obtain this goal, alternative production procedures are required and the system has to be taken into account as a whole, including the anode and the electrolyte (ionic liquid / alkaline electrolyte), which have to be compatible. Aim of this thesis project is the production of self-supporting carbon electrodes in a scalable process and their optimisation in terms of electrochemical behaviour.