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Tough Polymer Gel Electrolytes for Aluminum Secondary Batteries Based on Urea: AlCl3, Prepared by a New Solvent-Free and Scalable Procedure

AuthorsMiguel, Álvaro; García, Nuria ; Gregorio, Víctor; López-Cudero, Ana; Tiemblo, Pilar
KeywordsPolymer gel electrolytes
Deep eutectic solvent
Aluminum secondary batteries
Solvent-free procedure
Issue Date12-Jun-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationPolymers 12(6): 1336 (2020)
AbstractPolymer gel electrolytes have been prepared with polyethylene oxide (PEO) and the deep eutectic mixture of AlCl3: urea (uralumina), a liquid electrolyte which has proved to be an excellent medium for the electrodeposition of aluminum. The polymer gel electrolytes are prepared by mixing PEO in the liquid electrolyte at T > 65 °C, which is the melting point of PEO. This procedure takes a few minutes and requires no subsequent evaporation steps, being a solvent-free, and hence more sustainable procedure as compared to solvent-mediated ones. The absence of auxiliary solvents and evaporation steps makes their preparation highly reproducible and easy to scale up. PEO of increasing molecular weight (Mw = 1 × 105, 9 × 105, 50 × 105 and 80 × 105 g mol−1), including an ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) polymer, has been used. Because of the strong interactions between the UHMW PEO and uralumina, self-standing gels can be produced with as little as 2.5 wt% PEO. These self-standing polymer gels maintain the ability to electrodeposit and strip aluminum, and are seen to retain a significant fraction of the current provided by the liquid electrolyte. Their gels’ rheology and electrochemistry are stable for months, if kept under inert atmosphere, and their sensitivity to humidity is significantly lower than that of liquid uralumina, improving their stability in the event of accidental exposure to air, and hence, their safety. These polymer gels are tough and thermoplastic, which enable their processing and molding into different shapes, and their recyclability and reprocessability. Their thermoplasticity also allows the preparation of concentrated batches (masterbatch) for a posteriori dilution or additive addition. They are elastomeric (rubbery) and very sticky, which make them very robust, easy to manipulate and self-healing.
Description© 2020 by the authors
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061336
Appears in Collections:(ICTP) Artículos
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