Two US lead battery firms are working with the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to accelerate research into enhancing the technology’s performance.
Lead recyclers RSR Technologies and battery makers East Penn Manufacturing will use Argonne’s state-of-the-art analytic technologies to investigate the fundamental transport processes in lead batteries.
The companies are working alongside the Argonne Center for Collaborative Energy Storage Science in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement.
Work to unlock the materials science underpinning lead-based technology will run over two phases for 18 months.
It will involve the making of model electrodes, high-resolution three-dimensional imaging and other technologies.
Scientists at Argonne will also use synchrotron X-ray techniques, in particular for characterising materials under controlled electrochemical conditions.
Timothy Ellis, president of RSR Technologies, said: “We’ve known for years that the core limitation is the utilization of lead inside the batteries. Lead-based technology has significant unused performance potential that can be tapped by improving active material utilization inside the battery.”
“The lead battery industry has not had enough access to the right analytic tools to thoroughly investigate this phenomenon. This new collaboration will enable us to use Argonne’s technical facilities, so that we hopefully will uncover what has been unknown for many years.”
“This is an exciting opportunity to work in partnership with a National Laboratory of Argonne’s reputation and calibre. A deeper understanding of this essential battery technology will help us improve it beyond the significant advancements that have already been made,” said Bob Flicker, COO of East Penn.
“We look forward to discovering new improvements in the electrochemical efficiencies that will help us even better serve a power-hungry market.”