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Visualizing Structural Changes in Batteries Using Hard Radiation and the GaliPIX3D Detector

Computed tomography on alkaline batteries

The alkaline batteries chosen for this purpose consist of MnO2 as the cathode material Zn powder as the anode material [2-3]. While MnO2 is used as a solid mixture with graphite, the Zn powder is suspended in gelled KOH electrolyte. The main chemical processes can be described in the following way:

Anode:

Zn + 2OH- > ZnO+H2O + 2e-

Cathode:

2MnO2 +2H2O + 2e- > 2MnOOH +2OH-

During the electric discharge MnO2 is reduced by a solid-state intercalation of H+ into the MnO2 lattice. The Zn is oxidised and ZnO is formed around the core. MnO2 is transformed to MnOOH and as a consequence the thickness of the Mn layer increases.

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