Special Issue "Advanced Materials for Aluminium-ion Battery"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Andrew Cruden
Website
Guest Editor
University of Southampton, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Interests: energy storage; soluble lead flow cells; battery systems; vehicle-to-grid; electric vehicles
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aluminium-ion (Al-ion) batteries offer great potential as next generation battery chemistry. Based on the trivalent nature of the Al3+ ion transferring three times the charge of Li+, Al-ion cells offer many strong features:

  • High theoretical capacity (2978 mAh/g compared to 3829 mAh/g for Li+/Li) with higher rate capability (>160 C) and a theoretical specific energy density of 1060 mWh/g,
  • Volumetric energy density (8.04 Ah/cm3) is four times higher than the lithium (2.06 Ah/cm3),
  • Lower cost (aluminium is approximately 10 times cheaper than lithium carbonate used for Li-ion batteries),
  • Safer electrolytes, either aqueous or room temperature ionic liquids, which have low flammability and low reactivity compared to conventional organic solvents,
  • more readily recyclable,
  • with high quoted cycle lifes (>7000 cycles).

However, achieving commercial application of these cells is still a number of years away as the material and electrochemical challenges of this new technology require to be better understood and characterised.

This Special Issue will focus on the material challenges faced by this new cell chemistry, including high rate electrodes, aqueous and ionic liquid based electrolytes, separators and understanding of aluminium ion intercalation, surface and interface layer effects. Articles discussing investigations and developments of cell materials, half and full cell/battery tests, and scalability and synthesis routes for material scale-up are welcome for this feature.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications and reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Andrew Cruden
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Al-ion
  • trivalent
  • high rate
  • batteries
  • aluminium

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Fast Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Synthesis of Pure Layered δ-MnO2 for Multivalent Ion Intercalation
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122399 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
This work reports on the synthesis of layered manganese oxides (δ-MnO2) and their possible application as cathode intercalation materials in Al-ion and Zn-ion batteries. By using a one-pot microwave-assisted synthesis route in 1.6 M KOH (MnVII:MnII = 0.33), [...] Read more.
This work reports on the synthesis of layered manganese oxides (δ-MnO2) and their possible application as cathode intercalation materials in Al-ion and Zn-ion batteries. By using a one-pot microwave-assisted synthesis route in 1.6 M KOH (MnVII:MnII = 0.33), a pure layered δ-MnO2 birnessite phase without any hausmannite traces was obtained after only a 14 h reaction time period at 110 °C. Attempts to enhance crystallinity level of as-prepared birnessite through increasing of reaction time up to 96 h in 1.6 M KOH failed and led to decreases in crystallinity and the emergence of an additional hausmannite phase. The influence of MnII:OH ratio (1:2 to 1:10) on phase crystallinity and hausmannite phase formation for 96 h reaction time was investigated as well. By increasing alkalinity of the reaction mixture up to 2.5 M KOH, a slight increase in crystallinity of birnessite phase was achieved, but hausmannite formation couldn’t be inhibited as hoped. The as-prepared layered δ-MnO2 powder material was spray-coated on a carbon paper and tested in laboratory cells with Al or Zn as active materials. The Al-ion tests were carried out in EMIMCl/AlCl3 while the Zn-Ion experiments were performed in water containing choline acetate (ChAcO) or a ZnSO4 solution. Best performance in terms of capacity was yielded in the Zn-ion cell (200 mWh g−1 for 20 cycles) compared to about 3 mAh g−1 for the Al-ion cell. The poor activity of the latter system was attributed to low dissociation rate of tetrachloroaluminate ions (AlCl4) in the EMIMCl/AlCl3 mixture into positive Al complexes which are needed for charge compensation of the oxide-based cathode during the discharge step. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aluminium-ion Battery)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemically Treated TiO2 for Enhanced Performance in Aqueous Al-Ion Batteries
Materials 2018, 11(11), 2090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11112090 - 25 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The potential for low cost, environmentally friendly and high rate energy storage has led to the study of anatase-TiO2 as an electrode material in aqueous Al3+ electrolytes. This paper describes the improved performance from an electrochemically treated composite TiO2 electrode [...] Read more.
The potential for low cost, environmentally friendly and high rate energy storage has led to the study of anatase-TiO2 as an electrode material in aqueous Al3+ electrolytes. This paper describes the improved performance from an electrochemically treated composite TiO2 electrode for use in aqueous Al-ion batteries. After application of the cathodic electrochemical treatment in 1 mol/dm3 KOH, Mott–Schottky analysis showed the treated electrode as having an increased electron density and an altered open circuit potential, which remained stable throughout cycling. The cathodic treatment also resulted in a change in colour of TiO2. Treated-TiO2 demonstrated improved capacity, coulombic efficiency and stability when galvanostatically cycled in 1 mol·dm−3AlCl3/1 mol·dm−3 KCl. A treated-TiO2 electrode produced a capacity of 15.3 mA·h·g−1 with 99.95% coulombic efficiency at the high specific current of 10 A/g. Additionally, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were employed to elucidate the origin of this improved performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aluminium-ion Battery)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Screening of Electrode Materials for a Rechargeable Aluminum Battery with an AlCl3/EMIMCl Electrolyte
Materials 2018, 11(6), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11060936 - 01 Jun 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Recently, rechargeable aluminum batteries have received much attention due to their low cost, easy operation, and high safety. As the research into rechargeable aluminum batteries with a room-temperature ionic liquid electrolyte is relatively new, research efforts have focused on finding suitable electrode materials. [...] Read more.
Recently, rechargeable aluminum batteries have received much attention due to their low cost, easy operation, and high safety. As the research into rechargeable aluminum batteries with a room-temperature ionic liquid electrolyte is relatively new, research efforts have focused on finding suitable electrode materials. An understanding of the environmental aspects of electrode materials is essential to make informed and conscious decisions in aluminum battery development. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the relative environmental performance of electrode material candidates for rechargeable aluminum batteries with an AlCl3/EMIMCl (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride) room-temperature ionic liquid electrolyte. To this end, we used a lifecycle environmental screening framework to evaluate 12 candidate electrode materials. We found that all of the studied materials are associated with one or more drawbacks and therefore do not represent a “silver bullet” for the aluminum battery. Even so, some materials appeared more promising than others did. We also found that aluminum battery technology is likely to face some of the same environmental challenges as Li-ion technology but also offers an opportunity to avoid others. The insights provided here can aid aluminum battery development in an environmentally sustainable direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Aluminium-ion Battery)
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