Lead acid batteries have a large number of potential advantages, but the high weight of lead limits their use in new technologies, like hybrid or electrical cars, which require light batteries with high specific energy. We tried to overtake this limit with nanostructured electrodes of PbO2 and Pb, obtained by electrodeposition in polycarbonate template. In the case of lead, to obtain electrodes with very good mechanical stability, a systematic investigation of electrodeposition process was needed to overcome the formation of dendrites that is the principal limitation of electrochemical production of metal lead.
Nanostructured electrodes were tested in a zero gap configuration, using commercial plates as counter- electrode and an AGM type separator in a 5M H2SO4 aqueous solution. Electrochemical tests were performed in very stressing conditions, cell was discharged up to 90% of the gravimetric charge of nanostructured electrode up to a cut-off voltage of 1.2 V. Charge/discharge tests were carried out at high C-rate (2C, 5C and 10C) and excellent results have been obtained. After a short stabilization period (about 100 cycles), the nanostructured electrodes are able to work for more than 1,000 cycles with high discharge capacity. These findings indicate that lead-acid batteries made with nanostructured electrodes are able to work at high C-rate, never reached with commercially available lead-acid batteries.