Carbon Nanoscroll Cathodes for Aluminum Batteries

Carbon Nanoscroll Cathodes for Aluminum Batteries

Author: Liam Critchley

There is a growing research interest in developing electrode materials for efficient energy storage. Bingan Lu, Hunan University, Changsha, China, and Fujian Strait Research Institute of Industrial Graphene Technologies, Jinjang, China, and colleagues have created carbon nanoscrolls as cathode materials for aluminum batteries. The material was created using a simple, low-cost synthetic process. The “scrolls” are composed of a few graphene layers, rolled up like a newspaper.

The researchers used a one-step sintering process with carboxymethyl chitosan as a carbon source and ferric trichloride hexahydrate as a catalyst at temperatures of 600–1100 °C. The carbon nanoscrolls were found to possess rapid electronic transportation, a high anion storage capacity, a highly stable structure, and the ability to accommodate a large volume expansion throughout the cycling process.

Aluminum batteries built using the nanoscrolls as cathode materials have an excellent reversible discharge capacity of 104 mAh/g at 1000 mA/g. After 55,000 cycles, the cells retained almost 100 % of their initial capacity. The cathode was found to exhibit a high Coulombic efficiency of 95–99 %, depending on the discharge rate. The carbon nanoscroll cathodes retain good performance over a wide temperature range from −80 to 120 °C.


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