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Zinc-Nickel Battery


E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory



ABSTRACT: By using newly discovered electrolytes, Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have eliminated the problems associated with current zinc-nickel oxide batteries, and extended their lifecycle.

The short lifetime of the conventional zinc-nickel oxide battery has been the primary factor limiting its commercial use, even though its performance attributes make it attractive for portable power applications. The problem is caused by zinc active material migrating throughout the cell (known as shape change) eventually forming unwanted filamentary deposits (dendrites) during recharge, resulting in rapid capacity loss and catastrophic failure. Berkeley National Laboratory's new electrolyte compositions virtually eliminate shape change and zinc dendrites.

More than 500 deep-discharge (100% depth of discharge) cycles have been reached using Berkeley National Laboratory's electrolyte. Sealed cells exhibit no dendrites and only a modest (approx. 30%) capacity loss. The specific power achievable with the modified electrolytes is more than adequate (>200 W/kg) for demanding applications such as electric vehicles, and is comparable to high values obtained with currently manufactured zinc-nickel oxide batteries.

STATUS: U.S. Patents #5,453,336. Available for licensing


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