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SURVEY AND ANALYSIS ON METAL-AIR CELLS.
Technical rept. (Final), 20 Jan 66-4 Jan 68,
CHEMICAL AND METALLURGICAL RESEARCH INC CHATTANOOGA TN
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The recent development of thin durable oxygen electrodes for fuel cells has led to a re-examination of the possibilities of metal-air systems in primary and secondary batteries of high energy densities. Examination of the basic technology, all possible anodes, cathodes, and aqueous electrolytes has indicated that zinc and magnesium are the most likely anode materials for primary cells with aluminum, chromium, and manganese offering interesting possibilities for research. For secondary cells, zinc has the lead with cadmium as a contender for cells of high reliability iron, cobalt, and nickel offer research possibilities. The development of lead for use in acid electrolytes is hampered by the poor performance of air cathodes in such electrolytes at ambient temperatures. Cathodes of lower cost must be achieved by research for new catalysts, preferably other than platinum metals, and towards the achievement of longer life. The development has reached a crucial stage where the promise of fulfillment of operable batteries with higher energy densities than presently available will depend on the continued support of the manufacture of batteries for testing in the field and in the laboratory. The results to date indicate the possibility of achieving primary batteries with energy densities from 35 to 150 Whlb depending on ampere-hour capacity and configuration. The secondary batteries will depend on the success in solving the perennial problems of the zinc electrode, including zinc migration, and recharging of the battery by using the air cathodes. The solution of the zinc electrode problems is a basic need for the high energy battery technology. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE