Engineering Considerations for Practical Lithium-air Electrolytes

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Ellison, James HJ 

Lithium-air batteries promise exceptional energy density while avoiding the use of transition metals in their cathodes, however their practical adoption is currently held back by their short lifetimes. These short lifetimes are largely caused by electrolyte breakdown, but despite extensive searching, an electrolyte resistant to breakdown has yet to be found. This paper considers the requirements placed on an electrolyte for it to be considered usable in a practical cell. We go on to examine ways, through judicious cell design, of relaxing these requirements to allow for a broader range of compounds to be considered. We conclude by suggesting types of molecules that could be explored for future cells. With this work we aim to broaden the scope of future searches for electrolytes and inform new cell design.

Journal Title
Faraday Discussions
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Royal Society of Chemistry
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European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (835073)
Royal Society (RP/R1/180147)
JE and CPG acknowledge support from a Royal Society Research Professorship for CPG (grant no. RP\R1\180147). JE and CPG also acknowledge support from an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant for CPG (grant no. EC H2020 ERC 835073).