Electrochemical Characterization of Negative Lead Electrode in Lead-acid Battery



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The energy demands of the growing world are increasing at a fast rate and storage of energy is of extreme importance for many industrial and household applications. Batteries are proving to very useful in energy storage and providing power for applications ranging from portable devices to EVs for transportation. Until recently, Lead-acid batteries were the most used and successful for storing energy, and are used in many applications like UPS system, SLI systems in cars, and for industrial power applications. As the demand for high performance batteries is constantly increasing, Lead-acid batteries are in desperate need of advancements so that maximum efficiency and performance can be achieved since with the lead-acid batteries in use right now, only 30 – 40 % of the theoretical efficiency is achieved. Lead-acid battery has some unique advantages such as about 99.9 % recyclability, low cost, wide operating temperature range and lower risk of explosion. The work included in this dissertation is aimed toward exploring the fundamentals of lead-acid battery electrochemistry using advanced techniques developed in recent past which will help improve their performance. The focus of this work is on understanding and establishing baseline performance of negative lead electrode with variation in temperature. The discharge and kinetic charge acceptance of Pb electrode is explored for a wide range of temperature to understand the performance limits and performance controlling parameters. The cyclic voltammetry electrochemical procedures are established and used for studying discharge and charge processes of Pb electrode. Double layer capacitance measurement for electrochemically polished Pb surface is used as a metric for lead surface area. Quantification of performance of Pb electrode is evaluated using modified Peukert relationship and Kinetic charge acceptance measured from cyclic voltammetry data. Passivation of lead electrode during discharge forms PbSO_4 layer and dissolution of this layer is a limiting process for recharging the electrode. Morphology of PbSO_4 layer is related to its dissolution. Here, a relationship of PbSO_4 thickness and particle size to discharge capacity and charge acceptance is observed. Therefore, morphology and thickness of PbSO_4 layer after discharge at various temperatures is studied using microscopy techniques such as conductive Atomic Force Microscopy and Focused Ion Beam SEM.



Lead-acid, Discharge capacity to discharge current relationship, Kinetic Charge Acceptance, Lead Sulfate morphology.