A Liquid Gallium-Air Battery Study

Tyler Trettel Howard, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Abstract

Increasing energy demands world-wide must be met with more effective systems to produce, store, and distribute energy. Ideally, these systems should avoid fossil fuels and incorporate renewable technologies. To accommodate for the intermittent nature of renewable energies, a rechargeable gallium-air flow battery system for electrical grid applications is suggested. Using liquid gallium-air flow batteries could meet the rigorous world-wide demands for storage capacity, discharge duration, and durability necessary for the electrical grid. Toward this goal, a batch gallium-air battery was build and investigated. The performance of the system has been incrementally improved to a 30 hour discharge duration. Some insights into the mechanism of the gallium-air reaction was also obtained. However, recharging experiments were mostly unsuccessful. Despite the failures caused by carbonation and the separator drying, the Ga-Air system remains promising.