Self-discharge of Rechargeable Hybrid Aqueous Battery
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This thesis studies the self-discharge performance of recently developed rechargeable hybrid aqueous batteries, using LiMn2O4 as a cathode and Zinc as an anode. It is shown through a variety of electrochemical and ex-situ analytical techniques that many parts of the composite cathode play important roles on the self-discharge of the battery. It was determined that the current collector must be passive towards corrosion, and polyethylene was identified as the best option for this application. The effect of amount and type of conductive agent was also investigated, with low surface area carbonaceous material giving best performances. It was also shown that the state of charge has strong effects on the extension of self-discharge. More importantly, this study shows that the self-discharge mechanism in the ReHAB system involves the cathode active material and contains a reversible and an irreversible part. The reversible portion is predominant and is due to lithium re-intercalation into the LiMn2O4 spinel framework, and results from Zn dissolution into the electrolyte, which drives the Li+ ions out of the solution. The irreversible portion of the self-discharge occurs as a result of the decomposition of the LiMn2O4 material in the presence of the acidic electrolyte, and is much less extensive than the reversible process.