Development, Characterization, and Testing of Anode Components for a Biodegradable Seawater Battery

Open Access
Naccarelli, Anthony James
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Barbara Shaw, Thesis Supervisor
  • Barbara Shaw, Honors Advisor
  • Elizabeth Sikora, Faculty Reader
  • corrosion
  • battery
  • biodegradable
  • seawater
  • magnesium
  • anode
  • electrochemistry
  • physical vapor deposition
  • electron beam
Magnesium alloy thin films evaporated from bulk AZ61 (93% Mg, 6% Al, and 1% Zn) are explored as a possible anode component of a biodegradable, reserve, seawater battery. The films were evaporated by physical vapor deposition. Both the thin films and bulk AZ91 (90% Mg, 9% Al, and 1% Zn) were characterized and electrochemically tested in an artificial seawater electrolyte by polarization resistance, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, anodic polarization, and cathodic polarization to determine corrosion rate and how the film corrodes in solution. Discharge tests were also run to illustrate the films being used as the anode of a battery. From the characterization with SEM and ICP, it was found that the films lack aluminum content, which led to and increased corrosion rate during the electrochemical tests. New films will need to be made with varying concentrations of aluminum and zinc for further testing.