Hydrogen-ion batteries with high power and energy densities

February 21st, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Proton batteries

Lead Organisation:
University of New South Wales (UNSW)


Start date:
January 2021

Completion date:
January 2022 (end date for seed grant)

Key contacts:
Professor Chuan Zhao: chuan.zhao@unsw.edu.au
Associate Professor Neeraj Sharma: neeraj.sharma@unsw.edu.au
Associate Professor Da-wei Wang: Da-wei.wang@unsw.edu.au
Dr. Aditya Rawal: a.rawal@unsw.edu.au

UNSW Digital Greed Institute – AUD$40,000 (Seed funding, first step in a larger grant procurement process)

Project summary description:
The large-scale harvest of intermittent renewables calls for a commensurate increase in energy storage capacity to integrate them into electric grids. However, combining these renewables with the energy grid is especially challenging because of their rapid variability. This requires that energy storage devices must provide both high power and energy density.

Rechargeable batteries have long been considered as promising candidates for grid-scale energy storage. Owing to the smallest ionic radius, fast conduction, and wide availability of proton charge carriers, we plan to build a cost-saving hydrogen-ion battery, a new energy storage system, to achieve both high power and energy density for the grid-scale energy storage. The fast proton conduction via the Grotthuss/vehicle mechanism enables the high-rate capability and power density of battery electrodes. In addition, the high energy density can be realized by the high mass-loading electrodes and the modified electrolyte, which possesses extended voltage window.

The project aims to build a ground-breaking hydrogen-ion battery for grid-scale energy storage. The targets are to develop electrode materials with Grotthuss mechanism, water-in-sugar electrolytes, and prototype proton full cells. The research is cross-disciplinary including electrochemistry, proton chemistry, analytical chemistry for product analysis, and chemical engineering for the full-cell construction. This new technology will enable a game-change for future industries in energy, material, and resources.

Related publications and key links:
Zhao Group page:

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable


Reviewed: April 2023