Sodium molybdate – an additive of choice for enhancing the performance of AC/AC electrochemical capacitors in a salt aqueous electrolyte
Sodium molybdate (Na2MoO4) has been used as an additive to 1 mol L−1 lithium sulfate electrolyte for electrochemical capacitors based on activated carbon (AC) electrodes, in order to reduce the corrosion of stainless steel current collectors. We demonstrate that the MoO42− anions improve the overall capacitance owing to pseudofaradaic processes. In a two-electrode cell, capacitance values of 121 F g−1 have been achieved up to 1.6 V using 1 mol L−1 Li2SO4 + 0.1 mol L−1 Na2MoO4, as compared to 103 F g−1 when 1 mol L−1 Li2SO4 is used. Further, by using a two-electrode setup equipped with a reference electrode, we could demonstrate that, at 1.6 V, the positive electrode potential reaches a value of 0.96 V vs. NHE in 1 mol L−1 Li2SO4, crossing the thermodynamic potential limit of oxygen evolution (Eox = 0.846 V vs. NHE), and the pitting potential, Epit = 0.95 V vs. NHE. By contrast, in 1 mol L−1 Li2SO4 + 0.1 mol L−1 Na2MoO4, the pseudofaradaic contribution occurring at −0.05 V vs. NHE due to MoO42− anions drives the positive electrode to reach only 0.798 V vs. NHE. Hence, the oxidation of the AC and corrosion of the stainless steel current collector at the positive electrode are unlikely in Li2SO4 + Na2MoO4 when the capacitor operates at 1.6 V. During potentiostatic floating of the capacitor at 1.6 V for 120 hours in Li2SO4 + Na2MoO4, the capacitance and resistance remain constant at 125 F g−1 and ∼1.0 Ω, respectively, while the resistance increases from 1.4 Ω to 3.1 Ω in Li2SO4. Overall, the addition of MoO42− anions to Li2SO4 aqueous electrolyte allows the capacitance to be enhanced, corrosion of the positive stainless steel current collector to be inhibited and the AC/AC electrochemical capacitor to demonstrate stable performance up to 1.6 V.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Carbon in Electrochemistry