Zinc electrode shape change I. In situ monitoring

R.E.F. Einerhand, W. Visscher, J.J.M. de Goeij, E. Barendrecht

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Zinc electrode shape change, the redistribution of zinc material over the electrode during repeated cycling, has beenidentified as one of the main life-limiting factors for alkaline nickel oxide/zinc secondary batteries. To investigate this phenomenon in situ, a radiotracer, 65Zn, is incorporated in the battery and its movement monitored during repeated cycling ofthe battery. The changes in the distribution of 65Zn over the electrode during battery operation are attributed to the displacement of radioactive zincate ions via the battery electrolyte. It is shown that the spatial distribution of 65Zn offers areliable indication for the zinc material distribution over the electrode, provided an electrode with uniformly specific radioactivity is used in the measurements. Radiotracer experiments using zinc electrodes containing 2 weight percent HgOas an additive and uniformly labeled with 203Hg, have revealed that during battery cycling no substantial net transport ofmercury species occurs. It is concluded that it is highly unlikely that the mercury additive detaches from or moves overthe zinc electrode surface during the cycling process. Also, these experiments show that zinc material transport as a resultof detachment of electrode mass did not occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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