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Brønsted–lowry acid-based aqueous eutectic electrolyte for practical Zinc batteries

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Bouchal,  Roza
Bouchal, Roza, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Al Kathemi,  Ibrahim
Bouchal, Roza, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Antonietti,  Markus       
Markus Antonietti, Kolloidchemie, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Bouchal, R., Al Kathemi, I., & Antonietti, M. (2023). Brønsted–lowry acid-based aqueous eutectic electrolyte for practical Zinc batteries. Small, 2309556. doi:10.1002/smll.202309556.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000E-0986-1
Abstract
Aqueous highly concentrated electrolytes (AHCEs) have recently emerged as an innovative strategy to enhance the cycling stability of aqueous Zinc (Zn) batteries (AZB). Particularly, thanks to high Zn Chloride (ZnCl2) solubility in water, AHCEs based on ZnCl2 feature remarkable Zn anode stability. However, due to their inherently acidic pH and Cl- anion reactivity, these electrolytes face compatibility challenges with other battery components. Here, an aqueous eutectic electrolyte (AEE) based on Brønsted–Lowry concept is reported—allowing the usage of cheap and abundant salts, ZnCl2, and sodium acetate (NaAc). The reported, pH buffered, AEE displays a higher coordination of water at an even lower salt concentration, by simply balancing the acceptor–donor H─bonding. This results in impressive improvement of electrolyte properties such as high electrochemical stability, high transport properties and low glass transition temperature. The developed AEE displays higher compatibility with vanadium oxide-based cathode with a 50% increase in capacity retention in comparison to sat. ZnCl2. More importantly, the pH buffered AEE solves the incompatibility issues of ZnCl2 toward commonly used aluminium (Al) current collector as well as cellulose separator. This work presents an efficient, simple, and low-cost strategy for the development of aqueous electrolytes for the practical application of Zn batteries.