Symposium EN05—Low-Cost Aqueous Rechargeable Battery Technologies
This symposium will cover aqueous rechargeable batteries (ARBs), their associated materials engineering challenges, and performance optimization. With the increasing integration of renewable power sources such as wind and solar into the electrical grid, there is a need for inexpensive, dependable, and safe electrochemical energy storage systems to stabilize the inherent fluctuations of such sources. The low production costs (potentially below $100/kWh), non-flammability, environmental friendliness, and moderate energy density of ARBs make them promising candidates for grid-scale storage, but their adoption has been hindered by limited cycle life and reliability. For example, zinc anodes in traditional alkaline batteries suffer from shape changes, dendrite formation, and irreversible passivation during cycling. This symposium will elucidate understanding of the processes and limitations of conventional alkaline ARB chemistries, such as zinc–manganese oxide and zinc–air, as well as the emerging chemistries with intercalation electrodes and neutral, mildly acidic, or “water-in-salt” electrolytes. Contributions will span the full technology life cycle, from investigation of new electrode and separator materials and architectures, and new electrolyte formulations, to larger-scale electrode processing strategies, to design and evaluation of multi-cell grid-scale battery systems. Besides materials development, presentations will be solicited on more fundamental studies of ARB behavior, such as advanced in situ/in operando characterization and theoretical calculations to correlate electrode microstructural evolution with electrochemical properties. Macroscale modeling of battery performance at the single-cell and multi-cell levels, is also welcomed. Accompanying analyses of the economic, safety, reliability, and energy/power density constraints of grid storage applications are also encouraged to inform and motivate fundamental material development. This symposium will therefore aim to bring together speakers from academia, national laboratories, and companies to offer a diversity of perspectives on current progress in ARB technology and promote productive discussions on future research directions.