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Lithium/air batteries, based on their high theoretical specific energy, are an extremely attractive technology for electrical energy storage that could make long-range electric vehicles widely affordable. However, the impact of this technology has so far fallen short of its potential due to several daunting challenges. In nonaqueous Li/air cells, reversible chemistry with a high current efficiency over several cycles has not yet been established, and the deposition of an electrically resistive discharge product appears to limit the capacity. Aqueous cells require water-stable lithium-protection membranes that tend to be thick, heavy, and highly resistive. Both types of cell suffer from poor oxygen redox kinetics at the positive electrode and deleterious volume and morphology changes at the negative electrode. Closed Li/air systems that include oxygen storage are much larger and heavier than open systems, but so far oxygen- and OH−-selective membranes are not effective in preventing contamination of cells. Full Document

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