Conventional Al-air battery is not suitable for mini-watt applications due to bulky liquid storage and complex water management. To achieve successful simplification and miniaturization, an innovative paper-based Al-air battery is developed in this study, which employs cellulose paper as electrolyte substrate, low-grade Al foil as anode and carbon paper as cathode. Despite its simple structure and low cost, this battery achieves satisfactory power output together with high efficiency. With alkaline electrolyte, an open-circuit voltage of 1.6 V, a peak power density of 21 mW cm−2 and a specific capacity of 1273 mA h g−1 are obtained. With saline electrolyte, the battery can continuously work at 1 mA cm−2 for 5.6 h with only 3.5 mg Al. In addition, it is found that the paper-based electrolyte delivery can suppress Al corrosion in alkaline environment, enabling the direct utilization of low-grade Al resources. Moreover, the battery performance is improved by optimizing properties of its components, such as cathode catalyst, electrode area ratio and paper substrate thickness. Finally, a 5-cell battery pack is successfully developed, achieving an open-circuit voltage of 7.7 V and a stacking efficiency as high as 97%. By further scaling-up, this battery pack is successfully demonstrated for charging portable electronics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering