Extended Network: The Global Challenge Network in Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Devices

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemical Engineering

Abstract

Electrochemical devices are already part of our day-to-day lives, particularly Li-ion batteries that have transformed modern life through their ubiquitous application in consumer electronics. In the future, these devices will play an increasing role in our lives, from batteries that will power our cars and buses to fuel cells that will provide grid independent electricity. The UK has played a crucial role in the discovery and development of these devices, and through continuing cutting edge research at universities, national labs and companies, remains at the forefront of electrochemical device research.

In order to extend and optimise and the application of these devices in a range of environments, fundamental improvements to our understanding of the fundamental processes occurring in batteries are essential. Large-scale facilities research is essential to achieve this, using a range of techniques at neutron, synchrotron and high performance computing facilities.

Utilising a range of neutron, x-ray or HPC techniques in isolation provides opportunities to improve understanding of batteries - by combining the strengths of world leading practitioners across a range of complementary techniques and facilities we will have a unique opportunity to rapidly advance the field, and thorough our partnerships with industry translate this leading research into commercial reality.

Since 2013, the STFC Global Challenge Network in Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Devices (the Network) has helped to strengthen the UK research community active in this area, seed new research and collaborations, and through its advocacy has promoted the UK as a world leader in this field. In Phase 2 we seek to consolidate this success, and by provision of research funding, in addition to Networking and Training opportunities, to make substantive contributions to electrochemical device research.

Planned Impact

This proposal will bring together world leading researchers and industrial partners tackling some of the most important issues in electrochemical energy devices. The impact of the research will be widespread and ultimately lead to the development and proliferation of higher performance devices, this will be achieved through world-class research, dissemination of best practice and defined routes for stakeholder engagement.

In order to maximize the impact of this proposal for members, industry, the wider research community and ultimately society in general, we have defined key goals and enabling activities for dissemination. These include frameworks for stakeholder engagement and a dedicated Co-I to promote and facilitate industrial engagement, IP generation and technology transfer. We have extended the membership of our steering committee to include focal points for engagement with key networks and doctoral training centres, and international institutions as well as theme champions for key techniques. We will continue to champion early career development through schemes including the Early Career Award.

Network goals will be achieved with defined frameworks for:

Promoting industrial engagement
Engaging beneficiaries outside the direct research community
Knowledge Exchange and technique standardisation
Linking to other relevant networks and institutions
Promoting UK science on an international stage
Informing future research funding
Facilitating cross-network collaboration
Enhancing and extending network membership

Publications

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Biton M (2016) Enhanced Imaging of Lithium Ion Battery Electrode Materials in Journal of The Electrochemical Society

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Booth SG (2017) The offset droplet: a new methodology for studying the solid/water interface using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

 
Description Electrochemical devices are already part of our day-to-day lives, particularly Li-ion batteries that have transformed modern life through their ubiquitous application in consumer electronics. In the future, these devices will play an increasing role in our lives, from batteries that will power our cars and buses to fuel cells that will provide grid independent electricity. The UK has played a crucial role in the discovery and development of these devices, and through continuing cutting edge research at universities, national labs and companies, remains at the forefront of electrochemical device research. Since 2013, the STFC Global Challenge Network in Batteries and Electrochemical Energy Devices (the Network) has helped to consolidate the UK research community active in this area, seed new research and collaborations, and through its advocacy has promoted the UK as a world leader in this field.
Exploitation Route Our impact has been primarily on the electrochemical device community, however we have reached further afield to engage with the wider community.

The Network has championed inclusive community engagement, and has successfully engaged with a number of other stakeholder groups, including the EPSRC Energy Storage Research Network (ESRN), Catalyst Hub, High Value Manufacturing Catapult (WMG), the British Council (with whom we co-sponsored the UK/Brazil 2015 ELSOL workshop) and the Harwell Imaging Partnership.

By close partnering with the major STFC facilities (Isis, Diamond, CLF, Hartree) we have brought together beam line scientists with new users, and provided a bridge between computational and experimental research communities. Through our STFC Early Career Award, this is already supporting world-leading science. The Network has also supported the dissemination of research through its website and by literature which details the networking and scientific achievements of the Network, which includes scientific outputs from a number of our awardees who have secured travel grants, experimental design grants, and large proof of concept funding
Sectors Chemicals,Education,Energy,Transport

 
Description We aim to promote the UK as a leading research power in the field of electrochemical energy technology. The network has helped to consolidate the UK research community active in this area, seed new research and collaborations, and through its advocacy has promoted the UK as a world leader in this field. Some examples of our impacts are: Scientific Impact: Through the network activities we have had notable successes in building academic collaborations, this has been promoted by our networking events and researcher mobility grants, which have led to the publication of cutting edge science, some of which are included here, with many more publications supported by the network still in progress. Case studies of network activities, and science highlights can be found in recent publications available via our website Policy Impact: alongside the STFC Futures Programme, the Network co-organised a road-mapping event 'Batteries for Transport Power Trains up to 2050' leading to the publication of a white paper for the Dept. for Transport. The Network was also presented at the Houses of Parliament RCUK Energy Showcase in early 2015, which provided further opportunities to engage with policy makers. We act as a focal point for energy storage research and have engaged extensively with policy makers - acting as advoacated for large scale faciliteis and electrochemical energy research Industry Impact: We continue to engage industry extensively with our programme Education and Career Development: The network has promoted career development through the Early Career Researchers Conference an event organised 'by early career researchers, for early career researchers'. We have sponsored training opportunities for researchers at the Bath Electrochemical Spectroscopy Summer School, The WMG Battery School and The Hartree Centre Summer School.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Chemicals,Education,Energy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Title Experimental design awards 
Description 10 awards of up to £8,000 were given out to successful applicants to enable new in situ experiments to be conducted at synchrotrons. The designs are made available for users of the large scale facilities 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact New experiments, papers published, cell designs available for others to use 
URL http://stfcbatteries.org/experimental-design-awards-example
 
Title Electrocatalytic Site Activity Enhancement via Orbital Overlap in A2MnRuO7 (A = Dy3+, Ho3+, Er3+) Pyrochlore Nanostructures 
Description This data folder corresponds to the study of the electrochemical behavior of A2MnRuO7 (A = Dy, Ho, Er) oxide nanoparticles towards the oxygen reduction reaction. Article DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.0c02060 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://data.bris.ac.uk/data/dataset/2ziu8eflfw7zv25mc8j4h80jfl/
 
Description Annual meeting 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Annual meeting/conference on the network. International invited speakers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://stfcbatteries.org/annual-meeting-2017
 
Description ECRC2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Early Career researchers conference - a conference focused on earl career researchers, organised by early career researchers. Poster session, roughly 30 talks, talks from latter stage career people on how they got to that point in their career
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://stfcbatteries.org/stfc-early-career-researchers-conference-2017
 
Description Media appearances 
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 In October 2016, Paul Shearing appeared in numerous media outlets in response to the Samsung battery fires, these include appearances on BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC World News, Radio 5 etc
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Network members survey 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact All members of the network were sent a survey for evaluation for further funding of the network. The response was large and hugely positive. This feedback is also supplemented by strong testimonials from the UK community, a selection of which is highlighted below:
• 'The early career award was extremely useful to promote international collaboration. It made it feasible to visit a leading group in the subject and perform valuable experimental work. The follow on award was particularly useful to complete the project. I believe it is a very useful scheme enabling young researchers to explore their research ideas.'
• 'This is without doubt the most worthwhile and effective meeting in my calendar. As a ratio of interesting talks heard to hassle of attendance, no other annual meeting comes close.'
• 'The STFC Batteries Network organise the premiere meetings for the battery community in the UK. The meetings always feature an excellent array of speakers from diverse backgrounds, and provide: (i) opportunities for the community for travel and collaboration, (ii) support of experiments and (iii) crucial support of early career researchers. I just wish this type of Network was available in the other research areas that I am active in!'
• 'One of the best conferences out there. Quality of speakers and networking is excellent and a great way to interact with industry.'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description STFC Annual Meetng 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The STFC Annual Network meeting in 2016 was held at Cosner's House, providing the centre-piece event for the Network's actvitiies, international scientific talks, and networking opportunities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.stfcbatteries.org
 
Description STFC ECRC 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Early Career Researchers Conference, taking place at The Cosener's House Abingdon, 5th - 6th of April, offers PhD students and Post-Docs in the early stages of their careers the chance to discuss their work on electrical energy devices with their peers. The ECRC was created with the aim of fostering an environment in which young academics can present with confidence to an audience of like-minded researchers. In addition, plenary speakers consisting of experienced academics will attend to provide insight, direction, and constructive input to conference delegates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://stfcbatteries.org/early-career-researchers-conference-2016/
 
Description UKES 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Energy Storage Research Network (ESRN), the Energy SUPERSTORE and the STFC Network in Battery Science and Technology, all funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are hosting the third UK Energy Storage Research Conference (UKES2016), providing an inclusive platform for all researchers in Energy Storage to present their work through talks and poster sessions. In line with the ethos of the Energy SUPERSTORE, the conference endeavours to bring together researchers from academia, industry and policy and across the whole field of energy storage, inspiring collaborations for future research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://ukenergystorage.co/