Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has received a US$3.4M award from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to develop flow battery technology aimed at doubling the current range of electric vehicles (EV).
IIT and Argonne National Laboratory will develop a prototype for a rechargeable "nanoelectrofuel" flow battery that may extend the range of EVs to at least 500 miles and provide a straightforward and rapid method of refuelling. Current EV ranges are 100-200 miles, with recharging taking up to eight hours.
Flow batteries, which store chemical energy in external tanks instead of within the battery container, are generally low in energy density and therefore not used for transportation applications.
The IIT-Argonne nanoelectrofuel flow battery concept will use a high-energy density "liquid" with battery-active nanoparticles to dramatically increase energy density while ensuring stability and low-resistance flow within the battery.
The IIT award is one of 22 projects across the country awarded a total of $36 million through the ARPA-E’s Robust Affordable Next Generation EV Storage (RANGE) programme, which seeks to develop innovative EV battery chemistries, architectures and designs.