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 →

Mercedes-Benz said that winter trials in Northern Sweden have shown that the new electric eVito vans perform handily under low-temperature adverse conditions. The new eVito was tested for several weeks in the Scandinavian winter, in temperatures down to minus 30 degrees Celsius (-22 ˚F). The focus of the trials in... Read more →

Saft building European alliance for 7-year R&D push on advanced Li-ion and solid-state batteries; targeting gigafactory production scale

France-based advanced battery-maker Saft, a wholly-owned subsidiary of international energy giant Total, is building an alliance with other European partners to launch an ambitious program of research, development and industrialization for new generations of batteries focusing on advanced high-density Li-ion and solid-state battery technology. The program addresses all market segments,... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Maryland have designed a flexible lithium-ion conducting ceramic textile featuring fast lithium-ion conductors, good electrochemical stability, and scalable processing approaches to device integration for solid-state lithium metal batteries. Based on the garnet-type conductor Li7La3Zr2O12, the material exhibits a range of desirable chemical and structural properties,... Read more →

Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick (UK) have developed a method to assess the maximum current for commercial 18650 Li-ion batteries, using novel instrumentation methods enabling in operando measurements. In an open-access paper in the journal Electrochimica Acta, they reported that the maximum charging current that could be... Read more →

President’s 2019 budget request cuts DOE Energy programs 43%; EERE, 65%; kills Loans program and ARPA-E

President Trump unveiled his FY 2019 budget request, including $30.6 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE)—a more than 3% decrease from the 2017 enacted level. The bulk of DOE funding would flow to the National Nuclear Security Administration ($15.1 billion, +$2.2 billion over FY 2017 Enacted) and Environmental Management... Read more →

Researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology, with colleagues from the Beijing University of Technology and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, have synthesized tin chalcogenide (SnSe0.5S0.5) nanoplates for use as Li-ion anodes. In a paper published in the Journal of Power Sources, they reported that the as-prepared of SnSe0.5S0.5 exhibits... Read more →

Analysts at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) have reviewed recent research into the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The ICCT analysis is in the overall context of life-cycle emissions of electric cars as compared to conventional internal combustion vehicles in Europe.... Read more →

Researchers discover new efficient lithium collection method using MOF membranes; Li from produced water

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, Monash University (Australia) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia have recently discovered a new, efficient way to extract lithium and other metals and minerals from water. They published their findings in an open-access paper in Science Advances.... Read more →

In its new ten-year market outlook to 2027, Roskill, a leading provider of international metals and minerals research, forecasts primary nickel consumption to rise by just under 4% per year between 2017 and 2027, driven by increased consumption by stainless steel producers and by growth in demand in the automotive... Read more →

Ionic Materials has secured $65 million in a Series C financing round from a leading group of financial and strategic investors. The investors include companies from the battery manufacturing, consumer electronic and electric vehicle ecosystem which will be working with the company to speed the development of its solid polymer... Read more →

UK’s Faraday Institution awarding $58M to four battery research consortia to accelerate EV adoption

The UK’s Faraday Institution recently announced up to £42 million (US$58 million) in new government funding to four UK-based consortia to conduct application-inspired research aimed at overcoming battery challenges to accelerate the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent national battery research institute, and was established... Read more →

ION Energy acquires battery management company Freemens SAS

Start-up ION Energy, a company building high-performance energy storage systems and electric vehicle infrastructure, has acquired the French battery management company, Freemens SAS. As part of the cash-plus-equity transaction, the entire Freemens engineering and sales team willÚ join the core team of ION. Freemens will continue working with their current... Read more →

Skeleton Technologies appoints former GM Technical Fellow Dr. Scott Jorgensen as a Board advisor; curved graphene ultracaps

Dr. Scott Jorgensen, a former General Motors Technical Fellow and principle at Hyrax Intercontinental LLC, recently joined Skeleton Technologies as an advisor to the Board to support the company in gaining market share for curved graphene ultracapacitors in the hybrid and electric vehicle market. In a 2010 paper published in... Read more →

Researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) at the University of Maryland (UMD), led by ChBE Professor Chunsheng Wang, have recently created a battery chemistry that successfully suppressed dendrite formation in Li-metal batteries by increasing the LiFSI (Lithium bis[fluorosulfonyl]imide) salt concentration in the electrolyte to ~10 M.... Read more →

PNNL, UW create materials research initiative

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Washington have created the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology (NW IMPACT)—a joint research endeavor to power discoveries and advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology and other fields. The institute builds... Read more →

Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. and Toyota Motor Corporation have agreed to start a verification project that entails construction of a large-capacity storage battery system that reuses electrified vehicle batteries, as well as examination of the recycling of used batteries. The two companies aim to reuse batteries collected from electrified... Read more →

Sion Power will begin production of its patented Licerion rechargeable lithium metal battery in late 2018 from its Tucson facility. The Licerion rechargeable lithium metal technology will offer the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and electric vehicle (EV) markets 500 Wh/kg, 1,000 Wh/L, and 450 cycles when released. Licerion technology, a... Read more →

Cummins Inc. has acquired Johnson Matthey’s UK automotive battery systems business, a subsidiary of Johnson Matthey that specializes in high-voltage automotive grade battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. As part of the acquisition, Cummins and Johnson Matthey also agreed to collaborate on the development of high energy battery materials... Read more →

Boeing HorizonX invests in lithium-metal rechargeable battery startup Cuberg

Boeing has invested in Berkeley, Calif.-based Cuberg, Inc., a startup founded by former Stanford University researchers developing next-generation battery technology for potential aerospace and industrial applications. Cuberg developed an advanced lithium metal rechargeable battery cell that is designed to be a drop-in solution to existing large-scale battery manufacturing processes. It... Read more →

Researchers at WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), The University of Warwick (UK) have developed Silicon-Few Layer Graphene (Si-FLG) composite electrodes as an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. The reinforcement of the silicon anode structure with graphene girders results in significant improvement in terms of cyclability,... Read more →

Argonne researchers develop ReCell model to gauge impact of recycling batteries from EVs

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a novel model that allows industry, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and others to gauge the impact of recycling batteries in electric vehicles. From cathodes to anodes and electrolytes, Argonne’s understanding of batteries, combined with ReCell, a closed-loop battery recycling model, offers... Read more →

Engineers at the University of California San Diego and the University of California Los Angeles have developed an energy-efficient approach to regenerate Li-ion battery cathode materials (using LiCoO2 as a model material) by hydrothermal treatment of cycled electrode particles followed by short annealing. Unlike the conventional chemical leaching or solid-state... Read more →

Scania and European Gigafactory developer Northvolt partner for heavy vehicle electrification

Scania, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and Northvolt, a 2016 startup building a European Gigafactory (planned 32 GWh annual capacity) for Li-ion batteries (earlier post), have agreed to develop and commercialize battery cell technology for heavy commercial vehicles. Scania is investing €10 million (US$12.5 million) in the partnership to... Read more →

New MIT metal-mesh membrane could solve longstanding problems with liquid metal displacement batteries; inexpensive grid power storage

A new metal mesh membrane developed by researchers at MIT could advance the use of the Na–NiCl2 displacement battery, which has eluded widespread adoption owing to the fragility of the β"-Al2O3 membrane. A battery, based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using thea new type of metal... Read more →

POSCO to set up two JVs with Huayou Cobalt for Li-ion battery precursors and cathodes

South Korea-based steelmaker POSCO will establish two Li-ion battery material joint ventures in China with leading cobalt supplier Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt. One company will focus on precursors; the other will produce cathodes. Huayou Cobalt will own a 60% stake in the joint venture for precursors and POSCO the remaining 40%.... Read more →