The “classic” high-energy capacity Lithium-sulfur battery is predicated on the use of a sulfur-based cathode and a Lithium-metal anode. Among the issues hampering the commercialization of this attractive technology are the safety and performance issues associated with the use of the lithium-metal anode. Accordingly, a number of different approaches have... Read more →


Alberta publishes report assessing non-combustion uses for bitumen, opens $2M call for projects

Alberta Innovates, in partnership with industry, government and other organizations, recently released the results of a study that investigates the best opportunities for “Bitumen Beyond Combustion” (BBC). Following a 2017 report that identified potential products that could be made from Alberta oil sands bitumen, this new study identifies the top... Read more →


CCM: Shanghai Energy investing US$790M to construct world’s largest Li-ion wet process separator production base

China will account for more than 60% of the world’s production of wet-process separators for Li-ion batteries, with more than 10 billion square meters capacity, according to China-based market intelligence firm CCM. Now, Shanghai Energy, the largest supplier in the country, will build the largest production base, strengthening China’s leading... Read more →


Roskill: record cobalt deals in Q1 2018 show raw material procurement for Li-ion batteries revving up

Given the rapid development of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery industry, analysts are predicting that industry requirements for lithium and graphite could increase five-fold within the next decade while other metals such as nickel and cobalt are expected to increase nine-fold and four-fold, respectively, reflecting changes in cathode chemistry, according to... Read more →


Lithium Australia (LIT) has finalized its acquisition of advanced cathode material production technology, acquiring 99.7% of the equity in Brisbane-based Very Small Particle Company (VSPC). The VSPC facility is a 2 to 4 tonnes-per-annum pilot plant that incorporates an integrated laboratory, coin-cell production facility and battery-testing equipment. Cathode powder producer... Read more →


Researchers at Tongji University (China), with colleagues at Zhengzhou Yutong Bus and HeFei University of Technology, have developed a multi-mode energy management strategy for electric vehicles with a fuel cell range extender based on driving pattern identification using a learning vector quantization (LVQ) neural network algorithm. This multi-mode strategy can... Read more →


Researchers led by a team at UC Berkeley have demonstrated high-capacity manganese-rich cathodes for advanced lithium-ion batteries. The work, reported in the journal Nature, shows a possible design approach for cathode materials that move away from the current reliance on nickel and cobalt—which are limited resources and are associated with... Read more →


Researchers at Tsinghua University in China have used ultrathin and lightweight molybdenum sulfide (MoS2)/carbon nanotube (CNT) interlayers to trap polysulfides in high-performance lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. An electrode with the MoS2/CNT interlayer delivers an attractive specific capacity of... Read more →


LG Chem, Huayou Cobalt to form 2 JVs in China; precursors & cathodes for EV batteries; supporting 400K EV packs/year

LG Chem will form two joint ventures with China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt to secure supplies of cobalt for Li-ion batteries. Huayou Cobalt is the world’s largest producer of refined cobalt, delivering 20,000 tons in 2017. LG Chem will invest KRW 239.4 billion (USD 224 million) by 2020 to establish two... Read more →


Volkswagen Braunschweig has been awarded the contract to further the development and production of battery systems for the Modular Electric Drive Modular System (MEB). In the future, the plant will produce up to half a million battery systems per year for the electric vehicles of the Volkswagen brand and other... Read more →


Imec produces prototype solid-state Li-ion battery with 200 Wh/L; solid electrolyte applied as a liquid

Imec, a global research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies, has fabricated an innovative type of solid-state Li-ion battery achieving an energy density of 200 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). The battery is a significant milestone on imec’s quest to surpass wet Li-ion... Read more →


BP selects Tesla batteries for pilot storage project at US wind farm

BP Wind Energy, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Rolling Thunder I Power Partners LLC, has signed a purchase agreement to install a high-storage battery at its Titan 1 Wind Farm in South Dakota. The project is the first of its kind in BP’s US-operated wind business and a potential step forward... Read more →


Germany-based Akasol is manufacturing lithium-ion battery systems for Daimler subsidiary EvoBus. The leading European bus manufacturer plans to launch its new electric Citaro bus (earlier post) at the IAA Commercial Vehicles event in September. These buses will be fitted with up to ten of Akasol’s AKASYSTEM OEM battery packs (max.... Read more →


After first analyzing the role and underlying fundamental mechanisms of porous media in suppressing dendritic Li growth on Li metal anodes, a team of researchers from the US and China has synthesized a novel porous silicon nitride submicron-wire membrane and incorporated it in both half-cell and full-cell configurations to suppress... Read more →


Nemaska Lithium Inc. has entered into an investment agreement with SoftBank Group Corp. for a private placement of common share subscription receipts at a price of CAD 1.12 (USD 0.88) per receipt for aggregate gross proceeds of up to CAD 99,075,000 (USD 75,000,000). Under the investment agreement, SoftBank will acquire... Read more →


A research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an economical and industrially viable strategy to produce graphene. The new technique addresses the long-standing challenge of an efficient process for large-scale production of graphene, and paves the way for sustainable synthesis of the material. Graphene is... Read more →


Lignosulfonate, a sulfonated carbon waste material, is a major by-product in the papermaking industry. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have now developed a method to use this cheap and abundant waste byproduct to build a components for lithium-sulfur batteries. Reported in an open-access paper published in the RSC journal... Read more →


Magnesium offers a number of advantages over lithium for rechargeable batteries: it is safer and earth-abundant, and doubles the total charge per ion, delivering larger theoretical volumetric capacity compared with a typical lithium-ion battery. Further, in Mg batteries (MB) the anode is energy-dense Mg metal (~ 3,830  Ah  l−1)—surpassing the theoretical... Read more →


Researchers at Rensselaer have developed a new technique using heat to enable self-healing lithium-metal anodes to eliminate dangerous dendrite buildup, paving the way for higher energy density battery technologies. Despite their extremely high energy density, lithium (Li) metal electrodes are not currently deployable in commercial rechargeable batteries because electrochemical plating... Read more →


NASA and ARPA-E collaborate on iTech competition for transformational energy technologies

NASA iTech and the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) are collaborating on a unique iTech competition to identify transformational energy technologies that can improve energy generation, storage and distribution to the benefit of both space exploration and life on Earth. For the 2018 iTech Energy Cycle,... Read more →


Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas have used two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide) as a protective layer for Li-metal anodes, greatly improving the performances of Li–S batteries. In a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers report that such a use of MoS2 results in stable Li... Read more →


PNNL team develops new localized high-concentration electrolyte for high-voltage Li-metal batteries

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a novel localized high‐concentration electrolyte (HCE) that enables dendrite‐free cycling of lithium‐metal anodes with high Coulombic efficiency (99.5%) and excellent capacity retention (>80% after 700 cycles) of Li||LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 batteries. Unlike other HCEs developed earlier, the new PNNL electrolyte exhibits low concentration,... Read more →


KULR Technology has reached agreement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to be the exclusive manufacturing and distribution partner for the patented Internal Short Circuit (ISC) device which causes predictable battery cell failures in lithium-ion batteries, making them easier to study and, therefore, safer. Lithium-ion batteries provide power for... Read more →


Researchers led by a team from MIT, with colleagues from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), BMW Group, and Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a fundamentally new approach to alter ion mobility and stability against oxidation of lithium ion conductors—a key component of rechargeable batteries—using lattice dynamics. The new approach,... Read more →


With an eye toward balancing higher energy density batteries and fast charging capability, General Motors researchers Mark Verbrugge and Charles Wampler have derived and implemented a simple model to assist in evaluating factors such as cell performance, cost, life, and fast-charge capability in the design of electric vehicles. In a... Read more →


Roskill: Chinese companies step up their pursuit of lithium resources

China is stepping up its pursuit of control of the lithium supply chain, underpinned by the rapid growth of its lithium-ion battery industry building on agressive policy surrounding electric vehicle sales, according to metals and mining consultancy Roskill. One of China’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers, CATL, recently acquired North American... Read more →


SJTU team develops self-healing binder for silicon microparticle anodes

Researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) have developed a polymer binder—PAA-P(HEA-co-DMA)—for use with silicon microparticle (SiMP) anodes. Its network structure and special self-healing capability not only provides enough mechanical support but also buffers the strain caused by the volume change of SiMPs. Thus, the cycle stability and rate performance... Read more →


Developers from Bosch and scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using neutron imaging to analyze the filling of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars with electrolytes. Their experiments, reported in the Journal of Power Sources, show that electrodes are wetted twice as fast in a vacuum as under... Read more →


Rolls-Royce partners with Superdielectrics to explore potential of new high energy capacity supercapacitor technology

Rolls-Royce has signed a collaboration agreement with UK-based technology start-up Superdielectrics Ltd to explore the potential of using novel hydrophilic polymers to create next-generation high-energy storage technology. Superdielectrics Ltd is a material research company that has discovered, in self-funded research with the Universities of Surrey and Bristol, a new group... Read more →


Dendritic growth of lithium (Li) on lithium metal anodes has hobbled the practical application of Li-metal batteries, despite their theoretical benefits such as high capacity and low redox potential. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with colleagues at Texas A&M University, have used a 3D conformal graphene... Read more →


Mazda, ELIIY Power and Ube Industries jointly to develop 12V Li-ion starter batteries

Mazda Motor Corporation, ELIIY Power Co., Ltd. and Ube Industries, Ltd. have agreed jointly to develop lithium-ion batteries for use in automobiles. The three companies will work together to develop durable, heat- and impact-resistant 12-Volt lithium-ion batteries as a viable replacement for lead-acid starter batteries in motor vehicles by 2021.... Read more →


Lithium and cobalt are fundamental components of present lithium-ion batteries. Analysis by researchers at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) suggests that, given the foreseen scaling of battery demand up to 2050, each may face supply risks, albeit for different reasons. The researchers present... Read more →


Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. announced that it has been selected as the electric drivetrain provider for a $4.4-million program implemented by the United States Department of Energy in efforts to accelerate the adoption of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles. (Earlier post.) Combined with matching funding from other public and private entities... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to expand EV production worldwide to 16 sites by end of 2022; partnerships with battery manufacturers

The Volkswagen Group is expanding its production of electric vehicles to 16 locations around the globe by the end of 2022. This was announced by Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin. The Group currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in... Read more →


Researchers at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) have discovered a new conductive phase during the carbon-coating process of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode material that can improve the electrochemical performance of lithium-ion batteries. As described in an open-access paper in Nature Communications, the phase content is size-, temperature-, and... Read more →


Consortium led by POSCO, Samsung SDI to build $54M cathode materials plant in Chile for EVs

A consortium led by South Korea’s POSCO and Samsung SDI, and including China’s Sichuan Fulin Industrial Group and Chile’s Molyment, has won a bid to build a cathode materials plant in Chile to support that country’s Li-ion batteries project. POSCO and Samsung SDI will jointly invest about $54 million in... Read more →


BASF finalizes new JV with TODA for battery materials for e-mobility applications

BASF has closed its agreement to form BASF Toda America LLC (BTA). As the next step in BASF’s business growth strategy for its battery materials business, the new entity will be majority-owned and controlled by BASF and is the second collaboration of BASF and TODA. (Earlier post.) BTA will produce... Read more →


Classification society DNV GL has launched a Joint Development Project (JDP), designed to advance the understanding of the use of lithium-ion batteries in the shipping industry. More than a dozen partners from the entire value chain have joined the initiative, including flag states, research institutions, battery and propulsion suppliers, fire... Read more →


Researchers at Hasselt University in Belgium are proposing a new class of solid composite electrolytes (SCEs) for Li-ion batteries: deep eutectic solvent (DES)–silica composites. The DES-based gel electrolytes—to which the team refers as eutectogels (ETGs)—are characterized by high ionic conductivity (1.46 mS cm–1), thermal (up to 130 °C) and electrochemical... Read more →


Researchers at Australia’s RMIT University have demonstrated for the first time a working rechargeable “proton battery”. (Earlier post.) The rechargeable battery is environmentally friendly, and has the potential, with further development, to store more energy than currently-available lithium ion batteries. The working prototype proton battery combines the best aspects of... Read more →


Continental and CITC establish China-based for production of 48V battery systems

Continental and Chinese automotive supplier and battery manufacturer CITC (Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology Co., Ltd.) will establish a joint venture for the development and production of 48-volt battery systems for the automotive industry. The partners signed the contract confirming the joint venture on 7 March in Shanghai. The new joint... Read more →


Lithium-metal batteries are among the most promising candidates for high-density energy storage technology, but uncontrolled lithium dendrite growth, which results in poor recharging capability and safety hazards, currently is hindering their commercial potential. Now, researchers at Arizona State University, with colleagues at Rice University, have used a 3-dimensional layer of... Read more →


Propelled by growing public concerns about the environment and thanks to incentive policies, the enthusiasm among consumers in China for new-energy vehicles (mainly electric cars) has been steadily increasing, with consumers also expecting breakthroughs in battery technology, according to a recent J.D. Power survey on Chinese consumers’ purchase intentions regarding... Read more →


Aerotec, a Brazilian Private Equity fund, will invest £3.75 million (US$5.2 million) in Li-Sulfur battery company OXIS Energy. The investment is Aerotec’s first international venture. Established in 2005, OXIS Energy has developed, and continues to advance, an innovative Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) battery chemistry. With considerably higher energy density, OXIS’ batteries... Read more →


Although Bosch intends to lead the mass market for electromobility that will emerge after 2020, the company has decided that the means to achieving that strategic end does not include manufacturing of the battery cells. Bosch announced that while it will rely on its systems expertise and the development and... Read more →


Mahindra and LG Chem collaborate on Li-ion batteries for EVs in India

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a part of the US$19-billion Mahindra Group, and LG Chem, Korea’s leading manufacturer of advanced batteries, are collaborating in the field of advanced Li-ion battery technology. Under this collaboration, LG Chem will develop a unique cell exclusively for India application and will also supply Li-ion cells... Read more →


The European Commission (EC) has launched the fifth of six European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prizes, on Innovative batteries for eVehicles, worth €10 million (US$12.3 million). The EIC Horizon Prizes are part of the first phase of the European Innovation Council under Horizon 2020, the EU’s Research and Innovation Framework... Read more →


In new research by an international collaboration jointly led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist Brandon Wood and Mirjana Dimitrievska of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the team discovered why substituting one boron atom for one carbon atom in a key battery electrolyte material made lithium... Read more →


Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), with colleagues from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), have evaluated the current challenges and requirements for the large-scale production of all-solid-state lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries. In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they report their findings from workshops with... Read more →


Researchers from Shinshu University in Japan have developed a method to suppress the growth of lithium dendrites in Li-S and Li-air batteries. As reported in a paper in the RSC journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, they used magnesium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide [Mg(TFSA)2] as an electrolyte additive to suppress the growth of Li... Read more →