Over the past few years, rechargeable aqueous Zn-ion batteries have garnered significant interest as potential alternatives for lithium-ion batteries because of their low cost, high theoretical capacity, low redox potential, and environmentally friendliness. However, several constraints associated with Zn metal anodes, such as the growth of Zn dendrites, occurrence of side reactions, and hydrogen evolution during repeated stripping/plating processes result in poor cycling life and low Coulombic efficiency, which severely impede further advancements in this technology. Despite recent efforts and impressive breakthroughs, the origin of these fundamental obstacles remains unclear and no successful strategy that can address these issues has been developed yet to realize the practical applications of rechargeable aqueous Zn-ion batteries. In this review, we have discussed various issues associated with the use of Zn metal anodes in mildly acidic aqueous electrolytes. Various strategies, including the shielding of the Zn surface, regulating the Zn deposition behavior, creating a uniform electric field, and controlling the surface energy of Zn metal anodes to repress the growth of Zn dendrites and the occurrence of side reactions, proposed to overcome the limitations of Zn metal anodes have also been discussed. Finally, the future perspectives of Zn anodes and possible design strategies for developing highly stable Zn anodes in mildly acidic aqueous environments have been discussed.
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