Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Main Article Content

Kelly Hunt
Mallory Bates
Gerard Klint Simon
Tarun Goswami corresponding author

Abstract

Hearing aid devices are powered by the oxidation of zinc that occurs within zinc-air batteries. Zinc-air batteries have an average discharge time of 7 days. Therefore, hearing-aid devices need frequent battery replacement. In this paper, degradation mechanisms of zinc-air batteries investigated where a competition mechanism between zinc passivation and dendritic formation dictates the battery life. This research included exposure time from none to 9 days and to document dendritic growth with time. Scanning electron microscope images were taken to quantify the damage growth as well energy dispersive X-ray tests were conducted to comment on the composition changes. The results confirmed an increase in oxygen in exposed batteries from unexposed. These results matched findings from past literature. Exposure time was investigated to optimize battery lifespan. In conclusion, life of zinc-air batteries depends on the competition mechanism of zinc passivation and dendritic formation caused by oxidation and our investigation shows that this occurs within the first 7 days.

Keywords
hearing aid, zinc-air batteries, oxidation, dendrites, exposure time, SEM

Article Details

Supporting Agencies
The research was inspired by Mrs. Tandra Chatterjee as a part of 2 honors research project in Biomedical Engineering. United States Air Force Research Lab for the assistance with all battery experiments and SEM imaging.
How to Cite
Hunt, K., Bates, M., Simon, G. K., & Goswami, T. (2022). Degradation mechanisms of zinc-air batteries used in hearing aid. Materials Engineering Research, 4(1), 223-235. https://doi.org/10.25082/MER.2022.01.004

References

  1. Minakshi M and Ionescu M. Anodic behavior of zinc in Zn-MnO2 battery using ERDA technique. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2010, 35(14): 7618-7622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.04.143
  2. Bockelmann M, Reining L, Kunz U, et al. Electrochemical characterization and mathematical modeling of zinc passivation in alkaline solutions: A review. Electrochimica Acta, 2017, 237: 276- 298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2017.03.143
  3. Liu MB, Cook GM and Yao NP. Passivation of Zinc Anodes in KOH Electrolytes. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 1982, 128: 1663-1668. https://doi.org/10.1149/1.2124104
  4. Mainar AR, Iruin E, Colmenares LC, et al. An overview of progress in electrolytes for secondary zinc-air batteries and other storage systems based on zinc. Journal of Energy Storage, 2018, 15: 304-328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2017.12.004
  5. SchmidMandWillert-Porada M. Electrochemical behavior of zinc particles with silica based coatings as anode material for zinc air batteries with improved discharge capacity. Journal of Power Sources, 2017, 351: 115-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2017.03.096
  6. Puapattanakul A, Therdthianwong S, Therdthianwong A, et al. Improvement of Zinc-Air Fuel Cell Performance by Gelled KOH. Energy Procedia, 2013, 34: 173-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.745
  7. Kim H, Kim E, Kim S, et al. Influence of ZnO precipitation on the cycling stability of rechargeable Zn–air batteries. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 2015, 45(4): 335-342. https://doi.org/10.1007/S10800-015-0793-4
  8. Wang K, Pei P, Ma Z, et al. Morphology control of zinc regeneration for zinc–air fuel cell and battery. Journal of Power Sources, 2014, 271: 65-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.07.182
  9. Toussaint G, Stevens P, Akrour L, et al. Development of a Rechargeable Zinc-Air Battery. The Electrochemical Society, 2010, 28(32): 25-34. https://doi.org/10.1149/1.3507924
  10. Chamoun M, Hertzberg BJ, Gupta T, et al. Hyper-dendritic nanoporous zinc foam anodes. Npg Asia Materials, 2015, 7(4): e178. https://doi.org/10.1038/am.2015.32
  11. Riede J, Turek T and Kunz U. Critical zinc ion concentration on the electrode surface determines dendritic zinc growth during charging a zinc air battery. Electrochimica Acta, 2018, 269: 217-224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2018.02.110
  12. Banik SJ and Akolkar R. Suppressing Dendrite Growth during Zinc Electrodeposition by PEG-200 Additive. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 2013, 160(11): 519-523. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.040311jes
  13. Kim H and Shin H. SnO additive for dendritic growth suppression of electrolytic zinc. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2015, 645: 7-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JALLCOM.2015.04.208
  14. Wang J, Zhang L, Zhang C, et al. Effects of bismuth ion and tetrabutylammonium bromide on the dendritic growth of zinc in alkaline zincate solutions. Journal of Power Sources, 2001, 102(1-2): 139-143. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-7753(01)00789-3
  15. Stamm J, Varzi A, Latz A, et al. Modeling nucleation and growth of zinc oxide during discharge of primary zinc-air batteries. Journal of Power Sources, 2017, 360: 136-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JPOWSOUR.2017.05.073
  16. Minakshi M and Ionescu M. Anodic behavior of zinc in Zn-MnO2 battery using ERDA technique. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2010, 35(14): 7618-7622. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.IJHYDENE.2010.04.143
  17. Yang H, Cao Y, Ai X, et al. Improved discharge capacity and suppressed surface passivation of zinc anode in dilute alkaline solution using surfactant additives. Journal of Power Sources, 2004, 128(1): 97-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JPOWSOUR.2003.09.050
  18. Wang K, Pei P, Wang Y, et al. Advanced rechargeable zinc-air battery with parameter optimization. Applied Energy, 2018, 225: 848-856. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.APENERGY.2018.05.071
  19. Fu J, Cano ZP, Park MG, et al. Electrically Rechargeable Zinc– Air Batteries: Progress, Challenges, and Perspectives. Advanced Materials, 2017, 29(7): 1-34. https://doi.org/10.1002/ADMA.201604685
  20. Application Manual: Zinc Air [PDF]. (n.d.) St. Louis, MO: Energizer.