Platform Grant Renewal - Materials for Lithium Batteries

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Materials

Abstract

Rechargeable lithium batteries have transformed potable electronics (2 billion cells p.a. in 2009). They are a technology of choice for the electrification of transport and will contribute to balancing the intermittency of electricity supply from renewable sources with consumer demand (load levelling). In short, their high energy density will make them a vital technology in the 21st century, important in tackling climate change. However to achieve the step-change in lithium battery performance necessary to meet the formidable challenges of new markets, such as transport and load levelling, as well as future portable devices, it is essential to investigate radical new ideas and new approaches for the anodes, electrolytes and cathodes and to sustain their study for many years, in order to realise their potential. Achieving this goal demands a long-term strategic approach that embraces high risk research and sustained effort. Here we propose to investigate new ideas and approaches, to continue the investigation of topics introduced under our previous Platform Grant, e.g. the Li-air battery, nanostructured electrodes and crystalline polymer electrolytes, to engage with the best groups nationally and internationally, to engage with private and public sector stakeholders and further the careers of the best research personnel in the group.

Planned Impact

The reasearch enabled by the Platform Grant has significant potential for impact beyond academia in the private, public, third sectors and society as a whole. Breakthroughs in lithium battery research would impact on the battery and portable electronics industries. Given that some 25% of CO2 emissions arise from transportation and that lithium batteries are a technology of choice for future electric vehicles to mitigate such emissions, our research has potential for significant impact within the transport industry in the UK and world wide. Some 30% of CO2 emissions are associated with electricity generation and lithium batteries are now regarded as a key energy storage technology for balancing the intermittent supply from renewables with consumer demand; there are already major programmes in USA and Japan dedicated to lithium batteries for load levelling. Hence our research on lithium batteries will have impact on the electricity industry. As materials are key to advances in lithium batteries, our work has potential impact on the energy materials industry. The key role of lithium batteries in addressing climate change makes them of strategic relevance to government and non-governmental organisations. Research on lithium batteries has the potential to change the energy landscape and policy/decision makers need to know and will be influenced by such developments. For example, government policy towards investment in transportation, power generation and energy policy generally will be affected by advances in lithium batteries. The role of lithium batteries in reducing CO2 emissions means that research in this field has impact on environmental agencies and the public as a whole. In a recent report to the Scottish Government EA Technologies have named high energy density batteries as a research priority for the development of clean energy.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/I029273/1 01/09/2011 31/12/2013 £1,127,916
EP/I029273/2 Transfer EP/I029273/1 01/01/2014 31/08/2016 £605,430
 
Description This work undertaken in this project focused on the development of a new generation of batteries which exceed the performance of the popular lithium ion battery. This research was designed to be flexible and covered a wide range of research areas from Li air, advanced lithium ion and electrolyte work. This work identified the fundamentals underlying several topical battery chemistries.
Exploitation Route Understanding the fundamental operation of battery materials is of great importance to other researchers of new materials but also for industrial research. Many of our findings will be impacting research a large battery companies.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,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 Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Electronics,Energy,Transport
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description EASAC
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://www.easac.eu/
 
Description Member of iChem international advisory board, China
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Participation in Alistore ERI.
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL http://www.alistore.eu/
 
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 Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Next Generation Solid-State Batteries
Amount £1,735,133 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003532/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2019
 
Description Oxford-UNIST collaboration 
Organisation Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Country Korea, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Had extensive discussions with the Korean counterpart and agreed to host postdocs here at Oxford.
Collaborator Contribution Sending Korean postdocs to Oxford, organizing Oxford-UNIST workshops and visits.
Impact Discipline: Materials Fruitful collaboration between nations which might result in scientific discoveries, journal articles etc. in the future.
Start Year 2016
 
Title Novel Lithium Battery Cathode Material 
Description Nanostructured Electrodes for Lithium Batteries Transforming the rate at which Li-ion batteries can be charged/discharged is essential for their use in electric vehicles (for so-called regenerative breaking). To attack this issue Bruce, in the early years of the 21st century, pioneered nanostructured intercalation electrodes, including TiO2(B) nanowires/nanotubes and mesoporous LiMn2O4 as anodes and cathodes respectively (2004/2008) [2,3]. He demonstrated that the combination of length scales in one material (micrometre, nanometre and atomic) endows materials with superior properties, and hence performance, compared with micron-sized particulate electrodes when used in lithium-ion batteries. [text removed for publication]. IPR is covered in US 12/857.431 and a Canadian patent application number CA 2.675.302 
IP Reference  
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact n/a
 
Description APC Electrical Energy Storage Roadmap Development Session 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Confidential.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description BP meeting on 'Storage: Why, What, When?' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussions in Chatham House Rule format
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cafe Nano lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Catapult conference Sept 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This annual conference is attended by academic and industrial experts from JLR, Tata Motors European Technical Centre and WMG at the University of Warwick.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Interview by Fully Charged 
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 43,000 views on Youtube.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW1Xugey8j0
 
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 Shell Collaborative Research Workshop 
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 Confidential.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description UKES 2016 conference 
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 Brings together national and international researchers from the academic, industry and policy sectors, and facilitate discussions on every aspect of energy storage
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://ukenergystorage.co/