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Aluminium battery specific energy 1300 (practical), 6000/8000 (theoretical) W·h/kg[1] energy density N/A specific power 200 W/kg Nominal cell voltage 1.2 V Aluminium batteries or aluminum batteries are commonly known as aluminium-air batteries or Al-air batteries, since they produce electricity from the reaction of oxygen in the air with aluminium. They have one of the highest energy densities of all batteries, but they are not widely used because of previous problems with cost, shelf-life, start-up time and byproduct removal, which have restricted their use to mainly military applications. An electric vehicle with aluminium batteries could have potentially ten to fifteen times the range of lead-acid batteries with a far smaller total weight[1], at the cost of substantially increased system complexity. Al-air are primary batteries, i.e. non-rechargeable. Once the aluminium anode is consumed by its reaction with atmospheric oxygen at a cathode immersed in a water-based electrolyte to form hydrated aluminium oxide, the battery will no longer produce electricity. However, it may be possible to mechanically recharge the battery with new aluminium anodes made from recycling the hydrated aluminium oxide. Such recycling will be essential if aluminium-air batteries are to be widely adopted. Contents 1 Electrochemistry 2 Commercialization 2.1 Issues 2.2 Aluminium based batteries 3 See also 4 References 5 External links // Electrochemistry The anode oxidation half-reaction is Al + 3OH− → Al(OH)3 + 3e− + −2.31 V. The cathode reduction half-reaction is O2 + 2H2O + 4e− → 4OH− + +0.40 V. The total reaction is 4Al + 3O2 + 6H2O → 4Al(OH)3 + 2.71 V. About 1.2 volts potential difference is created by these reactions, and is achievable in practice when potassium hydroxide is used as the electrolyte. Saltwater electrolyte achieves approximately 0.7 volts per cell. Commercialization Issues Aluminium as a "fuel" for vehicles has been studied by Yang and Knickle [1]. They concluded the following: The Al/air battery system can generate enough energy and power for driving ranges and acceleration similar to gasoline powered cars...the cost of aluminum as an anode can be as low as US$ 1.1/kg as long as the reaction product is recycled. The total fuel efficiency during the cycle process in Al/air electric vehicles (EVs) can be 15% (present stage) or 20% (projected), comparable to that of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs) (13%). The design battery energy density is 1300 Wh/kg (present) or 2000 Wh/kg (projected). The cost of battery system chosen to evaluate is US$ 30/kW (present) or US$ 29/kW (projected). Al/air EVs life-cycle analysis was conducted and compared to lead/acid and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) EVs. Only the Al/air EVs can be projected to have a travel range comparable to ICEs. From this analysis, Al/air EVs are the most promising candidates compared to ICEs in terms of travel range, purchase price, fuel cost, and life-cycle cost. There are some technical problems still to solve though to make Al-air batteries suitable for powering electric vehicles. Anodes made of pure aluminium are corroded by the electrolyte, so the aluminium is usually alloyed with tin or other proprietary elements. The hydrated alumina that is created by the cell reaction forms a gel-like substance at the anode and reduces the electricity output. This is an issue that is being addressed in the development work on Al-air cells. For example, additives have been developed which form the alumina as a powder rather than a gel. Also alloys have been found to form less of the gel than pure aluminium. Modern air cathodes consist of a reactive layer of carbon with a nickel-grid current collector, a catalyst (e.g. cobalt), and a porous hydrophobic PTFE film that prevents electrolyte leakage. The oxygen in the air passes through the PTFE then reacts with the water to create hydroxide ions. These cathodes work well but they can be expensive. Traditional Al-air batteries had a limited shelf life[2] because the aluminium reacted with the electrolyte and produced hydrogen when the battery was not in use - although this is no longer the case with modern designs. The problem can be avoided by storing the electrolyte in a tank outside the battery and transferring it to the battery when it is required for use. These batteries can be used as reserve batteries in telephone exchanges, as a backup power source. Al-air batteries could be used to power laptop computers and cell phones and are being developed for such use.[citation needed] Aluminium based batteries Different types of aluminium batteries had been investigated: Aluminium-chlorine battery was patented by United States Air Force in the 1970s and designed mostly for military applications. They use aluminium anodes and chlorine on graphite substrate cathodes. Required elevated temperatures to be operational. Aluminium-iodine secondary cell has been investigated by some Chinese researchers. Aluminium-sulfur batteries worked on by American researchers with great claims, although it seems that they are still far from mass production. It's unknown if they are rechargeable. Al-Fe-O, Al-Cu-O and Al-Fe-OH batteries were proposed by some researchers for military hybrid vehicles. Corresponding practical energy densities claimed are 455, 440, and 380 Wh/kg[3] See also Book:Aluminium Books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print. Zinc-air battery References ^ a b c Design and analysis of aluminium/air battery system for electric vehicles" Shaohua Yang, Harold Knickle Journal of Power Sources 112 (2002) 162–173. ^ Aluminium/air batteries ^ [1] External links Simple homemade aluminum-air battery Aluminum Air Fuel Cell Becoming Commercially Viable v • d • e Galvanic cells Non-rechargeable: primary cells Alkaline battery · Aluminium battery · Bunsen cell · Chromic acid cell · Clark cell · Daniell cell · Dry cell · Grove cell · Leclanché cell · Lithium battery · Mercury battery · Nickel oxyhydroxide battery · Silver-oxide battery · Weston cell · Zamboni pile · Zinc–air battery · Zinc–carbon battery · Zinc–chloride battery Rechargeable: secondary cells Lead–acid battery · Lead-acid battery (gel) · Lithium air battery · Lithium-ion battery · Lithium-ion polymer battery · Lithium iron phosphate battery · Lithium sulfur battery · Lithium-titanate battery · Nickel-cadmium battery · Nickel hydrogen battery · Nickel-iron battery · Nickel-lithium battery · Nickel-metal hydride battery · Low self-discharge NiMH battery · Nickel-zinc battery · Rechargeable alkaline battery · Sodium-sulfur battery · Vanadium redox battery · Zinc-bromine battery Kinds of cells Battery · Concentration cell · Flow battery · Fuel cell · Trough battery · Voltaic pile Parts of cells Anode · Catalyst · Cathode · Electrolyte · Half cell · Ions · Salt bridge