2022-079 – Rechargeable Al-CO2 Battery Using Low-Cost Electrolyte and Catalyst

Background
Since the Industrial Revolution, the increasing energy demand based on fossil fuels substantially increased carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, leading to abnormal and extreme climate changes. Developing reliable technologies that incorporate carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration with the high energy density of fossil fuels is one of the most urgent and challenging necessities for carbon neutrality. Despite the urgency, the conversion of CO2 to useful fuels and chemicals has proven to be very difficult because of the high thermodynamic and kinetic stability of CO2. Therefore, developing low energy carbon capture and conversion technologies is still a priority for researchers and scientists interested in mitigating global climate change. Another priority is developing energy storage devices capable of replacing fossil fuels without emitting CO2. This effort has had moderate success due to the development of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology. However, the theoretical upper limit of lithium-ion batteries is significantly below the energy storage capacity of fossil fuels, which limits the successful applications of electrical alternatives. Previously, researchers developed an Al-CO2 battery which was a very promising alternative to Li-ion batteries as it had improved battery capacity and performance but could not be recharged without losing the improved battery capacity and performance.

Technology Description
Researchers at the University of New Mexico have introduced a critical element into a previously primary-only Al-CO2 battery configuration that serves as a homogeneous redox mediator. This introduction enables the battery to recharge with an ultra-lowoverpotential without sacrificing the high discharge potential and capacity. The addition to the electrolyte is a major advancement toward the goal of capturing and concentrating CO2 from air while storing energy to help mitigate climate change. As a result, the rechargeable Al-CO2 battery can serve as a cheap, high-capacityalternative energy storage device to Li-ion batteries.

Contact Information

Name: Gregg Banninger

Email: GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-272-7908