Unveiling the electrochemical characteristics of acetonitrile-catholyte- based Na-CO2 battery

E Im and J Mun and S Pourasad and K Baek and JH Ha and YE Durmus and H Tempel and RA Eichel and G Lee and GD Moon and SJ Kang, CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, 476, 146740 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2023.146740

The development of metal-CO2 batteries has attracted intense attention because of their unique electrochemical reaction for utilization of CO2 gas. However, unlike the alkali metal-based O2 batteries, a limited number of combinations of aprotic electrolytes have been employed for Li(Na)-CO2 batteries due to the sluggish reaction for the formation of the Li(Na)2CO3 discharge product. Here, we demonstrate an acetonitrile (MeCN)-based catholyte for use in a hybrid cell type Na-CO2 battery. The presence of a solid ceramic separator in our hybrid cell allows the stable operation of the MeCN catholyte-based Na-CO2 battery, resulting in improved electrochemical characteristics such as low overpotential, high energy density, and long cycle stability compared to the conventional TEGDME-based electrolyte. In particular, results of molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the improved performance is mainly due to the enhanced Na+ diffusion in the electrolyte. The calculated barrier for Na+ diffusion in MeCN is approximately four times lower than that in TEGDME. Thus, this work provides a promising electrolyte combination and reveals the mechanism for the improved performance of the MeCN-based electrolyte used in the hybrid cell structure, promoting the development of Na-CO2 batteries as practical secondary energy storage devices.

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