Nanomaterial Introduces Zinc-Air Batteries to the EV Party
Zinc-air batteries generate electricity by combining atmospheric air with zinc metal in a liquid alkaline electrolyte with a resulting byproduct of zinc oxide. When the battery is recharged, the zinc oxide turns back into its constituent parts: oxygen and zinc metal. While non-rechargeable versions of zinc-air batteries have seen some commercial use despite a fairly limited power density (the amount of power per unit volume), applications for the battery design have remained limited because it does not lend itself to recharging. The main obstacle for this has been that the catalysts in the air are not entirely up to the job of spurring on the necessary chemical reactions.