Rechargeable aqueous batteries such as alkaline zinc/manganese oxide batteries are highly desirable for large-scale energy storage owing to their low cost and high safety; however, cycling stability is a major issue for their applications. Here we demonstrate a highly reversible zinc/manganese oxide system in which optimal mild aqueous ZnSO4-based solution is used as the electrolyte, and nanofibres of a manganese oxide phase, α-MnO2, are used as the cathode. We show that a chemical conversion reaction mechanism between α-MnO2 and H+ is mainly responsible for the good performance of the system. This includes an operating voltage of 1.44 V, a capacity of 285 mAh g−1 (MnO2), and capacity retention of 92% over 5,000 cycles. The Zn metal anode also shows high stability. This finding opens new opportunities for the development of low-cost, high-performance rechargeable aqueous batteries.
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This work is supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, under Award KC020105-FWP12152. The TEM, NMR and XRD work were performed using EMSL, a National Scientific User Facility sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at PNNL. PNNL is a Multi-Program National Laboratory operated for DOE by Battelle. The work at UW was supported by Inamori Foundation.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Pan, H., Shao, Y., Yan, P. et al. Reversible aqueous zinc/manganese oxide energy storage from conversion reactions. Nat Energy 1, 16039 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2016.39
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