Research Papers

Organic Inhibitors of the Anode Self-Corrosion in Aluminum-Air Batteries

[+] Author and Article Information
P. S. D. Brito

C3i—Centro Interdisciplinar de
Investigação e Inovação,
Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre,
Lugar da Abadessa, Apartado 148,
Portalegre 7301-901, Portugal,
e-mail: pbrito@estgp.pt

C. A. C. Sequeira

Department of Chemical and
Biological Engineering,
Instituto Superior Técnico,
Technical University of Lisbon (TU Lisbon),
Av. Rovisco Pais 1,
Lisboa 1049-001, Portugal,
e-mail: cesarsequeira@ist.utl.pt

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received May 14, 2013; final manuscript received July 29, 2013; published online November 7, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(1), 011008 (Nov 07, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: FC-13-1049; doi: 10.1115/1.4025534 History: Received May 14, 2013; Revised July 29, 2013

Aluminum-air cells are very attractive systems due to their energy performance, namely their high energy density. Aluminum is a cheap and light material with a very high electropositive electrode potential, but a critical problem is its easy anodic oxidation in aqueous electrolytes complemented by hydrogen discharge. The purpose of this work was to study the electrochemical behavior of aluminum in strong alkaline medium in the presence of water-soluble organic compounds, such as carboxylic acids, amines, and amino acids in the perspective of self-corrosion control. The study was based on determinations of the amount of hydrogen released under potentiostatic polarization with separation of partial anodic and cathodic components. The effect of hydroxyl ion concentration and temperature on the electrochemical behavior of aluminum-water system was also analyzed. From the group of organic substances tested, the majority of them showed a significant inhibitory effect—given the high rate of self-corrosion of aluminum in these environments—especially the following: metacrylaminopropyl-trimethylammonium chloride (10.0 g/l) with an inhibitor efficiency of 69%; trimethylammonium chloride (10.0 g/l), with 67% efficiency; glycine (10.0 g/l) with 56% efficiency; alanine (10.9 g/l) with 40% efficiency; citric acid (10.0 g/l) with 38% efficiency; and tartaric acid (10.0 g/l) with 35% efficiency.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The electrolytic cell

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Aluminum polarization curves in NaOH solutions; (a) 1 M, (b) 2 M, (c) 4 M, (d) 6 M, and (e) 8 M

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Arrhenius plot for the system aluminum in a 6 M NaOH

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Potentiostatic polarization curve for an aluminum electrode in a 6 M NaOH solution with additions (10 g/l each) of: (a) glycine; (b) citric acid; (c) trimethylphenylammonium chloride, and (d) 3-metacrylaminopropyl-trimethylammonium



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