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Catalysts for Battery Manufacturing

Catalysts are an indispensable and important role in the field of battery manufacturing. Different types of batteries have different requirements for catalysts. Alfa Chemistry Catalysts provides customers with a wide range of catalysts for battery manufacturing.

Lithium-Sulfur Battery

Lithium-sulfur batteries are considered to be one of the most promising next-generation energy storage systems due to their high theoretical capacity and energy density. A catalyst with high-efficiency catalytic function for lithium polysulfide (LPS) can effectively inhibit the shuttle effect, thereby alleviating the problems of low sulfur utilization, poor cycling and rate performance caused by the shuttle effect in lithium-sulfur batteries.

The development of lithium-sulfur battery catalysts

  • First-generation catalyst materials
  • Metal compounds (metal oxides, sulfides, nitrides, phosphates, etc.) not only chemically adsorb polysulfides, but also have catalytic effects, which can quickly adsorb polysulfides and promote their efficient conversion.

    The first generation of catalytic materialsFigure 1. The first generation of catalytic materials [1]

  • Second-generation catalyst materials
  • Combining some materials with high adsorption and catalytic abilities to prepare a composite material that has the ability to fix and convert polysulfides is a feasible way to inhibit the shuttle effect and improve the electrochemical performance. This heterostructure is mainly composed of metal oxides, sulfides or nitrides, such as Co9S8-CoO, NiO-NiCo2O4 and MoN-VN.

    Second-generation catalyst materialsFigure 2. Second-generation catalyst materials [1]

  • Third-generation catalyst materials
  • With the development of catalyst materials, researchers have gradually realized that the effective capture ability of polysulfides and the electrical conductivity of the materials are key factors for catalyst materials to inhibit the shuttle effect. Therefore, third-generation catalysts such as metal cobalt, metal carbide, MXene, and single-atom catalysts have emerged with stronger conductivity, faster polysulfide adsorption speed and higher catalytic efficiency.

    Third-generation catalyst materialsFigure 3. Third-generation catalyst materials [1]

Li-CO2 Battery

Rechargeable Li-CO2 batteries provide a promising new method for carbon capture and energy storage technology. Transition metal oxides are effective catalysts in lithium secondary batteries. The carbon/metal oxide composition may be suitable as a cathode catalyst for lithium-carbon dioxide batteries. A summary of Li-CO2 battery cathode catalysts is shown in Figure 4.

Summary of Li-CO2 battery cathode catalystFigure 4. Summary of Li-CO2 battery cathode catalyst [2]

Metal-Air Battery

Among all electrochemical energy storage devices, metal-air batteries have the potential to provide the highest energy density and are the most promising systems for portable, mobile and stationary applications. The main advantages of metal-air batteries over traditional batteries include high theoretical energy density and low cost. Among all metal-air batteries, lithium-air batteries and zinc-air batteries have received the most attention. Here are some non-precious metal catalysts used in metal-air batteries.

Table 1. Summary of catalysts performance in metal-air batteries [3]

BatteryCatalystCapacity Current Density
Li-air (non-aqueous)α-MnO2 nanowire3000 mAh g-170 mA g-1
Li-air (non-aqueous)MnO2/MWNT1768 mAh g-170 mA g-1
Li-air (non-aqueous)Ti-doped γ -MnO22200 mAh g-10.15 mA cm−2
Li-air (non-aqueous)Co3O44000 mAh g-10.02 mA cm−2
Li-air (non-aqueous)Graphene15000 mAh g-10.1 mA cm−2
BatteryCatalyst ORR ActivityBattery Performance
Zn-air batteryMn3O4/rGOOnset: −0.1 V vs Hg/HgO, n = 2 ∼ 4120 mW cm−2
Zn-air batteryMnOx/KetjblackOnset: −0.05 V vs Hg/HgO190 mW cm−2
Zn-air batteryCoMn2O4−0.08 V vs Ag/AgCl, n = 3.7335 Wh kg−1 @ 10mA
Zn-air batteryN-CNTsn=4∼ 70 mW cm−2


  1. Hong-Jie Zhou. (2020). "The Development of Catalyst Materials for the Advanced Lithium–Sulfur Battery", Catalysts 10(6): 682.
  2. Xiang Li. (2016). "Progress in research on Li–CO2 batteries: Mechanism, catalyst and performance", Chinese Journal of Catalysis 37: 1016–1024.
  3. Ruiguo Cao. (2012). "Recent Progress in Non-Precious Catalysts for Metal-Air Batteries", Advanced Energy Materials 2(7): 816–829.
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