Reshaping the future of the electric grid through low-cost, long-duration discharge batteries

Research begun at the Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research and continued at spinoff company Form Energy may launch a new era of renewable energy.

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Story tips: Urban climate impacts, materials’ dual approach and healing power

ORNL identifies a statistical relationship between the growth of cities and the spread of paved surfaces. // ORNL successfully demonstrates a technique to heal dendrites that formed in a solid electrolyte. // ORNL combines additive manufacturing with conventional compression molding.

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A COSMIC Approach to Nanoscale Science

COSMIC, a multipurpose X-ray instrument at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, has made headway in the scientific community since its launch less than 2 years ago, with groundbreaking contributions in fields ranging from batteries to biominerals.

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Worth their salt: New battery anodes use salt for energy, stability

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of California San Diego have discovered that a material that looks geometrically similar to rock salt could be an interesting candidate for lithium battery anodes that would be used in fast charging applications.

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Inside the battery in 3D: Powerful X-rays watch solid state batteries charging and discharging

Using high-speed X-ray tomography, researchers captured images of solid-state batteries in operation and gained new insights that may improve their efficiency.

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Chemists Settle Battery Debate, Propel Research Forward

UPTON, NY—A team of researchers led by chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has identified new details of the reaction mechanism that takes place in batteries with lithium metal anodes. The findings, published today in Nature Nanotechnology, are a major step towards developing smaller, lighter, and less expensive batteries for electric vehicles.

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Can Sodium-Ion Batteries Replace Trusty Lithium-Ion Ones?

Sodium-ion batteries are a potential replacement for lithium batteries, but different anodes are needed for the same level of performance. Amorphous carbon is known to be a useful anode, because it has defects and voids that can be used to store sodium ions. Nitrogen/phosphorus-doped carbon also offers appealing electrical properties. In Applied Physics Reviews, researchers describe how they applied basic physical concepts of atomic scale to build high-performance anodes for sodium-ion batteries.

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Batteries Mimic Mammal Bones for Stability

Sodium-ion batteries offer several advantages over lithium-ion batteries; however, it is difficult to develop sodium cathodes, materials through which electrons can enter a battery. Many candidate materials are unstable or cannot withstand high voltages. To find a solution, researchers turned to nature. They created a porous system of NVP structures, surrounded by a dense shell of reduced graphene oxide. They describe the mammal bone-inspired sodium cathode in the journal Applied Physics Reviews.

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A flexible screen-printed rechargeable battery with up to 10 times more power than state of the art

A team of researchers has developed a flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery with a five to 10 times greater areal energy density than state of the art. The battery also is easier to manufacture; while most flexible batteries need to be manufactured in sterile conditions, under vacuum, this one can be screen printed in normal lab conditions. The device can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.

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New Technique Extends Next-Generation Lithium Metal Batteries

Columbia Engineering researchers have found that alkali metal additives, such as potassium ions, can prevent lithium microstructure proliferation during battery use. They used a combination of microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and computational modeling to discover that adding small amounts of potassium salt to a conventional lithium battery electrolyte produces unique chemistry at the lithium/electrolyte interface, and modulates degradation during battery operation, preventing the growth of microstructures and leading to safer, longer lasting batteries.

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Process to recover metals from batteries licensed by Momentum Technologies

Momentum Technologies Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based materials science company that is focused on extracting critical metals from electronic waste, has licensed an Oak Ridge National Laboratory process for recovering cobalt and other metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

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Argonne researchers target lithium-rich materials as key to more sustainable, cost-effective, next-generation batteries

Researchers are developing new ways to advance lithium-rich batteries and using new materials for practical use, according to researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

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Active learning accelerates redox-flow battery discovery

In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are accelerating the hunt for the best possible battery components by employing artificial intelligence.

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Toward an Ultrahigh Energy Density Capacitor

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have demonstrated that a common material can be processed into a top-performing energy storage material. Their discovery could improve the efficiency, reliability, and robustness of personal electronics, wearable technologies, and car audio systems.

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Ultrafast lasers probe elusive chemistry at the liquid-liquid interface

Real-time measurements captured by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory provide missing insight into chemical separations to recover cobalt, a critical raw material used to make batteries and magnets for modern technologies.

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Safer, longer-lasting energy storage requires focus on interface of advanced materials

More studies at the interface of battery materials, along with increased knowledge of the processes at work, are unleashing a surge of knowledge needed to more quickly address the demand for longer-lasting portable electronics, electric vehicles and stationary energy storage for the electric grid.

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The Electrochemical Society and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Announce 2020-2021 Fellowship Winners for Projects in Green Energy Technology

Prof. Dr. Shoji Hall, Prof. Dr. Piran Ravichandran Kidambi, and Dr. Haegyeom Kim have been awarded the 2020-2021 ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowships. Through this, ECS and Toyota aim to promote innovative and unconventional technologies borne from electrochemical research. The fellowship encourages young professors and scholars to pursue innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology.

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$345K NSF grant to fund research to modify paper electronics to make them stretchable

A three-year, $345,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will fund research at Binghamton University, State University of New York that seeks to modify paper’s mechanical properties while still retaining its advantages.

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Scientists uncover major cause of resistance in solid electrolytes

Scientists investigated grain boundaries in a solid electrolyte at an unprecedentedly small scale. The resulting insights provide new avenues for tuning chemical properties in the material to improve performance.

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Energy storage startup SPARKZ licenses ORNL cobalt-free battery tech

Energy storage startup SPARKZ Inc. has exclusively licensed five battery technologies from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed to eliminate cobalt metal in lithium-ion batteries. The advancement is aimed at accelerating the production of electric vehicles and energy storage solutions for the power grid.

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Cathode ‘Defects’ Improve Battery Performance

Chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have made a new finding about battery performance that points to a different strategy for optimizing cathode materials. Their research, published in Chemistry of Materials and featured in ACS Editors’ Choice, focuses on controlling the amount of structural defects in the cathode material.

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MTU engineers examine lithium battery defects

Lithium dendrites cause poor performance and even explosions in batteries with flammable liquid electrolytes. How these dendrites grow, even with a solid electrolytes, is still a mystery, but materials engineers at MTU and Oak Ridge study the conditions that enable dendrites and how to stop them.

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Argonne’s debt to 2019 Nobel Prize for lithium-ion battery

A roar of approval rang out at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory upon the announcement in October that John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino had won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On December 10th in Stockholm, they received this highly coveted prize for their major contributions to the invention of the lithium-ion battery, which is a long-standing major focus of research at Argonne.

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Battery collaboration meeting discusses new pathways to recycle lithium-ion batteries

At a conference held by the ReCell Center, an advanced battery recycling collaboration based at Argonne, representatives from industry, government, and academia discussed innovative approaches for lithium-ion battery recycling.

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Building a better battery with machine learning

In two new papers, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have turned to the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to dramatically accelerate battery discovery.

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Go With the Flow: Scientists Design New Grid Batteries for Renewable Energy

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have designed an affordable ‘flow battery’ membrane that could accelerate renewable energy for the electrical grid.

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Charging Up the Development of Lithium-Ion Batteries

On October 9, the Nobel committee recognized work in developing lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have enabled a huge number of advances, including mobile phones and plug-in electric vehicles. The DOE Office of Science is proud to have supported research by Drs. Whittingham and Goodenough and to have funded research by many scientists who have built upon their innovations.

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Binghamton University professor wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to M. Stanley Whittingham, distinguished professor of chemistry and materials science at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

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