How Zinc-Air Chemistry Works
Batteries of all types have two main components; anodes and cathodes along with other key ingredients such as an active catalyst and electrolyte to connect and activate them. For zinc-air battery operation, the fuel for the cathode is simply oxygen from the air we breathe and the fuel for the anode is zinc metal powder. Inside the battery, a mass of zinc particles form a porous anode, which is saturated with an electrolyte to make it electrically conductive. Oxygen causes a reaction that forms hydroxyl ions, which in turn forms zincate, thereby releasing electrons to travel to the cathode. QSI’s patented nanotechnology production processes create the high surface area advanced catalysts that facilitate this electrochemical reaction with greater efficiencies, resulting in higher energy densities within the zinc-air battery.
Unlike a conventional battery that contains both cathode and anode material, oxygen from the atmosphere is one of the battery reactants and is not packaged within the battery. So a cell can contain more zinc fuel in the anode to provide more capacity, or run time, than a conventional battery. As a result, the MetAir® Ranger PPS has higher energy capacity-to-volume (and weight) ratio than any other commercially available battery.