A High-Performance Rechargeable Iron Electrode for Large-Scale Battery-Based Energy Storage
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Inexpensive, robust and efficient large-scale electrical energy storage systems are vital to the utilization of electricity generated from solar and wind resources. In this regard, the low cost, robustness, and eco-friendliness of aqueous iron-based rechargeable batteries are particularly attractive and compelling. However, wasteful evolution of hydrogen during charging and the inability to discharge at high rates have limited the deployment of iron-based aqueous batteries. We report here new
... e report here new chemical formulations of the rechargeable iron battery electrode to achieve a ten-fold reduction in the hydrogen evolution rate, an unprecedented charging efficiency of 96%, a high specific capacity of 0.3 Ah/g, and a twenty-fold increase in discharge rate capability. We show that modifying high-purity carbonyl iron by in situ electro-deposition of bismuth leads to substantial inhibition of the kinetics of the hydrogen evolution reaction. The in situ formation of conductive iron sulfides mitigates the passivation by iron hydroxide thereby allowing high discharge rates and high specific capacity to be simultaneously achieved. These major performance improvements are crucial to advancing the prospect of a sustainable large-scale energy storage solution based on aqueous iron-based rechargeable batteries.