Chemical Reviews, Vol.120, No.14, 6558-6625, 2020
Current Challenges and Routes Forward for Nonaqueous Lithium-Air Batteries
Nonaqueous lithium-air batteries have garnered considerable research interest over the past decade due to their extremely high theoretical energy densities and potentially low cost. Significant advances have been achieved both in the mechanistic understanding of the cell reactions and in the development of effective strategies to help realize a practical energy storage device. By drawing attention to reports published mainly within the past 8 years, this review provides an updated mechanistic picture of the lithium peroxide based cell reactions and highlights key remaining challenges, including those due to the parasitic processes occurring at the reaction product-electrolyte, product-cathode, electrolyte-cathode, and electrolyte-anode interfaces. We introduce the fundamental principles and critically evaluate the effectiveness of the different strategies that have been proposed to mitigate the various issues of this chemistry, which include the use of solid catalysts, redox mediators, solvating additives for oxygen reaction intermediates, gas separation membranes, etc. Recently established cell chemistries based on the superoxide, hydroxide, and oxide phases are also summarized and discussed.