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R&D

Nexeon adds ‘Spice’ to silicon tech research

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 12:12 -- John Shepherd
Nexeon adds ‘Spice’ to silicon tech research

UK-based battery materials firm Nexeon is leading a project to optimise coating technology for its silicon material to boost the performance of battery cells.

Nexeon said the ‘Spice’ (Silicon Product Improvement through Coating Enhancement) project aims to extend the system compatibility of silicon anode materials, “allowing use of lower cost electrolyte formulations and lower overall battery cell costs”.

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Oxis Energy sealing battery R&D partnership with Ceetak

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Lithium-sulfur cells maker Oxis Energy has teamed up with heat-sealing technology firm Ceetak for an R&D project under the UK’s Faraday Battery Challenge.

Oxis is leading the £7 million (US$9.1m) Lithium Sulfur Future Automotive (LiSFAB) development project— funded by Innovate UK— to develop a next generation battery cell and module that will have “the significantly improved power and cycle life required by larger automotive applications”.

Ceetak said it is working with Oxis on developing “a specific test station to evaluate the different technologies to achieve the most robust and suitable pouch sealing process” for future battery cell production.

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US launches lithium recycling prize and research centre

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has launched a Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Prize and an associated Battery Recycling R&D Centre, in a bid to reduce “America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical (battery) materials”.

The recycling prize will make awards totalling US$5.5 million to encourage innovation from American entrepreneurs in the fields of collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling.

In addition, the US will invest $15m to establish the recycling centre “focused on cost-effective recycling processes to recover lithium battery materials”. The centre is to be led by Argonne National Laboratory, with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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Blackstone Resources plans Germany battery plant

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Swiss battery metals investor Blackstone Resources is launching a research centre in Germany— ahead of plans to set up “a substantial battery-production project” in the country.

The company is investing €200 million to establish Blackstone Research in the city of Erfurt, with the goal of building “the next generation of electric-vehicle batteries, close to where German auto manufacturers are based”, in the east-central state of Thüringen.

Blackstone said it will initially put up the investment itself, but hopes to “garner support from subsidies” from European Union R&D funds and from regional and federal funding in Germany.

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Battery giants back Korean R&D investment fund

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Yunmo Sung

Three South Korean battery giants have signed up to an agreement to support the launch of a government-backed “next-generation batteries investment fund”.

Samsung SDI, LG Chem and SK Innovation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the KRW1 billion (US$885,000) fund, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) said.

The signing comes a year after South Korea’s government said it would support plans to expand domestic battery production and challenge China’s increasing dominance of the global market.

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MIT team reports life-extension breakthrough for metal-air batteries

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

A new design that could “greatly extend” the shelf life of single-use metal-air batteries for a variety of applications has been unveiled by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The research team said they have found a way to substantially reduce corrosion in batteries, which could benefit electric vehicles, off-grid storage and other applications.

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Swiss firm eyes EV market traction for new ‘standardised’ battery

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Swiss technology company Ecovolta has unveiled a “standardised” lithium-ion battery, aimed at speeding up the development of electric vehicles.

Ecovolta, which announced the start of operations at a battery pack manufacturing and R&D plant in Switzerland earlier this year, said its ‘evoTraction’ battery “significantly cuts the time and expense needed to bring electric vehicles to the serial production stage”.

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Korea team claim lithium metal performance breakthrough

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Kist researcher Moon-Sek Kim (left) and Dr Won-Il Cho (right) are testing their lithium metal ion battery using a drone and some LEDs (Photo: Business Wire)

Researchers in South Korea say they have developed “essential technologies” to boost the safety and performance of lithium metal batteries.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (Kist) team claim their research “can be potentially applied to various industrial applications, especially for un-manned vehicles” such as self-driving cars.

Kist said the lithium metal battery it has developed “exhibits twice the energy density to that of a conventional lithium-ion battery”.

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Cabot Corp, Saft in US low-cobalt cathode research

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected speciality chemicals firm the Cabot Corporation as a technology partner to develop low-cobalt cathodes for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

Cabot will work with researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and French battery maker Saft for the project. Argonne will assist in the synthesis of low-cobalt cathode compositions, while Saft will assist in the manufacture of batteries to validate performance of novel low-cobalt cathode formulations.

The DOE said it is investing a total of US$80 million “to explore more sustainable, affordable options” than cobalt— and “ultimately improve access to electric vehicle technology”.

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Australia’s Archer in Uni R&D partnership for batteries

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 09:44 -- Xuan Zhong
Australia’s Archer in Uni R&D partnership for batteries

Australian mining firm Archer Exploration has signed an R&D agreement with the University of New South Wales to focus on carbon-based energy storage technology.

The cooperation will develop graphite and graphene-based materials for lithium-ion batteries— “potentially generating technologies and patents that have commercial applications in reliable energy”, Archer said.

 

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