Exploring the unrealized potential of lead batteries is the goal of a new collaboration between the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and two leading lead recycling and lead battery manufacturing companies: RSR Technologies and East Penn Manufacturing.
The collaboration will enable RSR and East Penn to use Argonne‘s state-of-the-art analytic technologies to accelerate the research of lead batteries in order to enhance performance. Tests undertaken will investigate the fundamental transport processes in lead batteries using a variety of characterization techniques available at Argonne.
Scientists at Argonne who will work on the project have extensive experience in synchrotron X-ray techniques, in particular for characterizing materials under controlled electrochemical conditions.
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.—Timothy Ellis, president of RSR Technologies
The companies have joined forces with the Argonne Center for Collaborative Energy Storage Science (ACCESS) in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). Work began this month and will run over two phases for 18 months. It will involve the fabrication of model electrodes and the utilization of high-energy X-ray techniques, high-resolution three-dimensional imaging and other technologies to unlock the mysteries of the materials science that underpins lead-based technology.
Argonne is well known for its lengthy history of research and development on lithium batteries, but has experience with a wide range of battery chemistries.
East Penn is a leading manufacturer of high quality lead-acid batteries and accessories for the automotive, commercial, marine, motive power, UPS and telecommunication markets. The company's quality and environmental systems for its entire 520-acre complex have been certified to ISO 9001:2008, ISO/TS 16949:2009, and ISO 14001:2004 requirements.
RSR Technologies is a research and development company engaged in the nonferrous smelting and refining industries. The company provides services to battery, mining and smelting companies and is focused on achieving the highest standards for health, safety and the environment.