Crossing Boundaries in Energy Storage

Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

Energy storage is more important today than at any other time in history. Approx. 25% of CO2 emissions arise from burning fossil fuels in transportation. It is widely acknowledged that decarbonising transport is imperative and involves electrification.The greatest challenge facing electrification of transport is energy storage. Although electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) will be with us in increasing numbers over the next decade, achieving a step change in driving range (e.g. the often stated Holy Grail of +300 miles) is impossible with the storage technologies available now and in the near term (lithium-ion batteries). Here we propose to investigate energy storage technologies far beyond the current horizon and with the potential to deliver a step change in performance of electric vehicles. We focus in particular on the Li-air battery, hydrogen and oxygen storage, in line with the scope of the call. These technologies fit into an overall vision for future hybrid EVs in which the Li-air battery, the hydrogen fuel cell (or perhaps ammonia fuel cell) and the reversible fuel cell (effectively a hydrogen-oxygen battery) play key roles. The Li-air battery has the potential to store far more energy than current generation lithium batteries but major hurdles remain to be overcome. Here we address some of the key hurdles facing a step change of Li-air batteries, opening the way to practical Li-air batteries in the longer term capable of a much extended driving range and available at lower cost than today and hence transforming transportation.Similarly we address the key challenge of hydrogen storage by a concerted series of approaches to identify the solid state stores that meet the criteria for a transformation in the mobile storage of hydrogen for transport. We also examine the radical concept of solid state oxygen storage using transition metal and peroxo compounds. Such stores would find applications as sources and sinks of O for the cathode in a Li-air cell or for a reversible fuel cell. By working together we break down the traditional boundaries between these research fields, enable the cross-fertilisation of ideas that may lead to innovative solutions to the problems of each field and train personnel in a culture of working across these boundaries.

Planned Impact

There is considerable potential for non-academic impact across a wide range of sectors, private, public and societal, and for the training of personnel. Our research is high risk / high gain, if successful it could contribute in the longer term to a radial advance in battery technology and hydrogen storage. Such advances would transform transport, making possible electric vehicles capable of driving ranges beyond 300miles and thus addressing a major hurdle to the adoption of EV's namely range anxiety. Significant impact would be seen in the automotive industry and its component suppliers, the battery and fuel cells industries, and energy materials manufacturers. A step change in energy storage and the enabling of extended range EV's would have major impact on public bodies, including government agencies and othe stake holders such as the Carbon Trust, UKERC, RSC, Royal Society, Royal Society Edinburgh, TSB. All these bodies are heavily engaged with the energy sector and their awareness of breakthroughs in energy storage would be important is setting the policy/strategy agenda. For example, the possibility of EV's with a greatly extended range could influence government policy towards support for the UK transport and component industries. Considering societal impact, the realisation of EV's with the driving range of today's gasoline vehicles but with ultra low CO2 emissions would impact on almost everyone. Of course all this depends on the outcome of the research which by definition cannot be predicted but the proposal has in principle the potential for major impact as described. The applicants have collectively over 100 years experience of research on energy storage and as a result extensive networks with cognate industries and public bodies. We are members of 4 SUPERGEN consortia. We have a track record of engagement with and supplying evidence to public bodies, Government, Learned Societies, etc. Through these pathways we shall disseminate our research ensuring its impact. We will continue to hold open meetings inviting sake holders in the energy and transport sectors to disseminate out research and its implications. We have already established mechanisms via SUPERGEN, e.g. web sites, with email alerts to relevant stake holders. We are regularly invited to attend policy orientated meetings setting the energy agenda, her and abroad, e.g. DoE in the USA. Some of us are members of ALISTORE, (the EU network on Lithium batteries) providing a conduit (6 monthly meetings take place) for dissemination across Europe to battery and transport industries. We are frequent invited speakers at major meetings nationally and internationally and in our field these arew attended by industry and public bodies, as well as academics. By all these mechanisms we will ensure our research has exposure and impact beyond academia. There is a paucity of personnel trained in energy,our trained PhD's and PDRA's will be in high demand by industry and public bodies.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/I022570/1 01/08/2011 31/12/2013 £3,039,217
EP/I022570/2 Transfer EP/I022570/1 01/01/2014 30/04/2016 £1,390,926
 
Description This research focused on the development of a new generation of batteries, known as the lithium air battery, which has the potential to exceed the performance of the popular lithium ion battery. The work funded by this grant identified many of the factors limiting the performance of these batteries, in particular detrimental decomposition reactions of battery comments that limited the life span of the device. Identification of these key failure routes was critical to ultimately overcoming the challenges in the battery and allowed the investigators to design and demonstrate new stable high performance battery materials that limited these unwanted decomposition reactions.
Exploitation Route The findings performed here help to establish a large international research field centered on metal air batteries and related industrial involvement. For example, IBM and |Toyota both have significant research investments in this area in part due to this work and the findings produced here form a foundation for the development of next generation energy storage batteries for electrified transport.
Sectors Energy,Transport

 
Description Findings had been disseminated to various industrial partners and beneficiaries in the transport/automotive sector via our links within the SUPERGEN consortia and this has informed the direction of battery development for hybrid and fully electrified vehicles. The research aided establishment of research links and collaboration between the Bruce group and a number of leading international car manufacturers which are ongoing, and support the development of new battery systems and related industries. The research has informed and produced roadmaps for next-generation energy storage development, and some of the investigators have advised government bodies in this area of energy storage both in the UK and in Brussels.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Chemicals,Energy,Transport
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description E-cosse, Scottish Government Electric Vehicle Strategic Boards
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description EASAC
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://www.easac.eu/
 
Description Participation in panel discussion at the House of commons regarding the gov's industrial strategy, 26 June 2018
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Royal Society, Science and Industry Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Integrate
Amount £1,531,000 (GBP)
Organisation OMS 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 03/2019
 
Description Joint UK-India Clean Energy Centre (JUICE)
Amount £5,094,437 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003605/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description SUPERGEN Energy Storage Challenge
Amount £1,221,082 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N001982/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2019
 
Description Studentship - "Ammonia as an Energy Vector" (with University of Glasgow)
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation Airbus Group 
Department EADS Innovation Works
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2016
 
Description Studentship - "Graphene and inorganic van der Waals structures as a new family of hydrogen storage materials" (with University of Glasgow)
Amount € 30,000 (EUR)
Organisation Airbus Group 
Sector Private
Country France
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2018
 
Description UKIERI (British Council) Thematic Partnership Scheme "New materials for high performance, low cost, sustainable sodium ion batteries"
Amount £37,778 (GBP)
Organisation UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 08/2016
 
Description Airbus 
Organisation Airbus Group
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution New knowledge and materials.
Collaborator Contribution Financial support, in-kind staff time and access to laboratories.
Impact 3 studentships to-date - trained personnel. Successful winning of joint EU funding. Contribution to Airbus R&D.
Start Year 2011
 
Title AIR CATHODE AND METAL-AIR BATTERY 
Description A main object of the present invention is to provide an air cathode capable of achieving both high initial discharge capacity and high capacity retention. In the present invention, the problem is solved by providing an air cathode used in a metal-air battery, comprising: an air cathode layer containing a conductive material, a particulate catalyst and a fibrous catalyst; and an air cathode current collector for collecting current of the air cathode layer, wherein the ratio of the fibrous catalyst to the total weight of the particulate catalyst and the fibrous catalyst is 10% by weight or less. 
IP Reference WO2011033683 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed Yes
Impact n/a
 
Title Bardé, F., Bruce, P. G., Freunberger, S. A., Chen, Y. & Hardwick, L. J. Catalyst loaded onto carbon for rechargeable nonaqueous metal-air battery. JPO patent 053888 (2011) 
Description Bardé, F., Bruce, P. G., Freunberger, S. A., Chen, Y. & Hardwick, L. J. Catalyst loaded onto carbon for rechargeable nonaqueous metal-air battery. JPO patent 053888 (2011) 
IP Reference  
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed No
Impact n/a
 
Title CATHODE CATALYST FOR RECHARGEABLE METAL-AIR BATTERY AND RECHARGEABLE METAL-AIR BATTERY 
Description The present invention is to provide a cathode catalyst capable of increasing the initial capacity, decreasing the charging voltage and improving the capacity retention of a rechargeable metal-air battery, and a rechargeable metal-air battery having high initial capacity, excellent charge-discharge efficiency, and excellent capacity retention. A cathode catalyst for a rechargeable metal-air battery comprising NiFe2O4, and a rechargeable metal-air battery comprising an air cathode containing at least NiFe2O4, an anode containing at least a negative-electrode active material and an electrolyte interposed between the air cathode and the anode. 
IP Reference WO2011148518 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed Yes
Impact n/a
 
Title STABLE NON-AQUEOUS ELECTROLYTE PROMOTING IDEAL REACTION PROCESS IN RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM-AIR BATTERIES 
Description The present invention relates to a lithium -air battery comprising: - a negative electrode containing a negative-electrode active material; - a positive electrode using oxygen as a positive-electrode active material; and - an electrolyte medium arranged between the negative electrode and the positive electrode; wherein the electrolyte medium comprises as primary solvent one or more compounds having an -N-CO- group in the molecule. 
IP Reference WO2013053378 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2013
Licensed No
Impact n/a
 
Title Stable non-aqueous electrolyte promoting ideal reaction process in rechargeable lithium-air batteries 
Description The present invention relates to a lithium-air battery including: a negative electrode containing a negative-electrode active material; a positive electrode using oxygen as a positive-electrode active material; and an electrolyte medium arranged between the negative electrode and the positive electrode; wherein the electrolyte medium includes as primary solvent one or more compounds having an -N-CO- group in the molecule.v 
IP Reference US20140255802 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed No
Impact n/a
 
Description Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence on solid-state batteries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence on solid-state batteries, 11 Sept 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by Tom Whipple, Times 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by Tom Whipple, Times, 13 Feb 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by the Financial Times 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview - Peter Bruce interviewed by the Financial Times, 16 Aug 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at MEP-2018, Fudan University, Shanghai China, 20-23 Sept 2018, title: Lithium Batteries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited talk at MEP-2018, Fudan University, Shanghai China, 20-23 Sept 2018, title: Lithium Batteries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Labs to Riches 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Royal Society's flagship industry dinner
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016
URL https://royalsociety.org/events/2015/02/labs-to-riches/
 
Description Lecture at Tokyo University of Science Oct 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited lecture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Participant of BIG-MAP consortium workshop in Copenhagen on 18/1-2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Participant of BIG-MAP consortium workshop in Copenhagen on 18/1-2019. "To achieve our ambitious goals, we need to bridge fundamental understanding of battery materials, reactions and interfaces with all elements of the discovery and innovation cycle, and to establish a unique data- and science infrastructure for accelerated discovery of future batteries. This can only be achieved if we unite leading and cross-disciplinary competences across Europe."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019