In the realm of stationary energy storage, a plurality of candidate chemistries continues to vie for acceptance, among them the Na–NiCl2 displacement battery, which has eluded widespread adoption owing to the fragility of the β″-Al2O3 membrane. Here we report a porous electronically conductive membrane, which achieves chemical selectivity by preferred faradaic reaction instead of by regulated ionic conduction. Fitted with a porous membrane of TiN, a displacement cell comprising a liquid Pb positive electrode, a liquid Li–Pb negative electrode and a molten-salt electrolyte of PbCl2 dissolved in LiCl–KCl eutectic was cycled at a current density of 150 mA cm−2 at a temperature of 410 °C and exhibited a coulombic efficiency of 92% and a round-trip energy efficiency of 71%. As an indication of industrial scalability, we show comparable performance in a cell fitted with a faradaic membrane fashioned out of porous metal.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $8.25 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Dunn, B., Kamath, H. & Tarascon, J.-M. Electrical energy storage for the grid: A battery of choices. Science 334, 928–935 (2011).
Soloveichik, G. L. Battery technologies for large-scale stationary energy storage. Annu. Rev. Chem. Biomol. Eng. 2, 503–527 (2011).
Yang, Z. G. et al. Electrochemical energy storage for green grid. Chem. Rev. 111, 3577–3613 (2011).
Barnhart, C. J. & Benson, S. M. On the importance of reducing the energetic and material demands of electrical energy storage. Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 1083–1092 (2013).
Kummer, J. T. & Weber, N. Battery having a molten alkali metal anode and a molten sulfur cathode. US patent 3,413,150 (1968).
Coetzer, J. A. New high energy density battery system. J. Power Sources 12, 377–380 (1986).
Sudworth, J. L. The sodium/nickel chloride (ZEBRA) battery. J. Power Sources 100, 149–163 (2001).
Lu, X. C., Xia, G. G., Lemmon, J. P. & Yang, Z. G. Advanced materials for sodium-beta alumina batteries: Status, challenges and perspectives. J. Power Sources 195, 2431–2442 (2010).
Hueso, K. B., Armand, M. & Rojo, T. High temperature sodium batteries: status, challenges and future trends. Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 734–749 (2013).
Benato, R. et al. Sodium nickel chloride battery technology for large-scale stationary storage in the high voltage network. J. Power Sources 293, 127–136 (2015).
Kim, J., Jo, S. H., Bhavaraju, S., Eccleston, A. & Kang, S. O. Low temperature performance of sodium-nickel chloride batteries with NaSICON solid electrolyte. J. Electroanal. Chem. 759, 201–206 (2015).
Lu, X. et al. High power planar sodium-nickel chloride battery. ECS Trans. 28, 7–13 (2010).
Lu, X. C. et al. Advanced intermediate-temperature Na–S battery. Energy Environ. Sci. 6, 299–306 (2013).
Lu, X. C. et al. Liquid-metal electrode to enable ultra-low temperature sodium-beta alumina batteries for renewable energy storage. Nat. Commun. 5, 4578 (2014).
Gasior, W. & Moser, Z. Thermodynamic study of liquid lithium-lead alloys using the EMF method. J. Nucl. Mater. 294, 77–83 (2001).
Wang, K. et al. Lithium-antimony-lead liquid metal battery for grid-level storage. Nature 514, 348–350 (2014).
We acknowledge financial support from Total, S.A.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Yin, H., Chung, B., Chen, F. et al. Faradaically selective membrane for liquid metal displacement batteries. Nat Energy 3, 127–131 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-017-0072-1
Rare Metals (2021)
Thermodynamic considerations of screening halide molten-salt electrolytes for electrochemical reduction of solid oxides/sulfides
Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry (2019)