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DOE awarding $19.4M to 22 advanced vehicle technologies projects; Mercedes-Benz, GM Li-S battery projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19.4 million to 22 new cost-shared projects to accelerate the research of advanced battery, lightweight materials, engine emission control technologies, and energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS). Among the awardees are Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and GM, with separate projects on Li-sulfur batteries, as two of the fifteen Phase 1 “Battery Seedling” Projects.

The Battery Seedling projects are aimed at innovative battery materials and approaches that complement the Vehicle Technologies Office Battery500 Consortium’s research to more than double the specific energy (to 500 watt-hours per kilogram) of lithium battery technologies. These projects enable smaller, safer, lighter weight, and less expensive battery packs that ultimately will make electric vehicles more affordable. Promising phase 1 awardees will be competitively down-selected at the end of 18 months for a second phase of research.

The Department of Army will contribute an additional $1 million through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance to support these projects.

The three selected EEMS projects will conduct research that evaluates energy savings benefits from connected and automated vehicles. They will lead to the creation of new software, controls, and technologies that use connectivity and automation to improve vehicle efficiency, a novel research vehicle testbed to evaluate connected and automated technologies, and analyze the system-wide energy opportunities available through connectivity and automation combined with shared mobility.

Two projects will research, develop, and use integrated computation materials engineering (ICME) techniques to develop low cost carbon fiber from a variety of feedstocks and precursors that can be used to make carbon fiber with less energy and lower cost. An additional two projects will research and develop novel emission control strategies for advanced combustion engines.

The award is from the FY 2017 Vehicle Technologies Program-Wide Funding Opportunity (DE-FOA-0001629) issued in December 2016. (Earlier post.) Selected projects include:

Battery500 Seedling Projects – Phase 1 awards (Area of Interest 1)
Description Funding
University of Maryland: College Park Research innovative iron-based materials for high energy cathodes for high energy lithium ion battery technologies. $400,000
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Research thick cathodes using freeze casting methods for solid-state lithium batteries. $400,000
Penn State University Park Research multifunctional Li-ion conducting interfacial materials that enable high- performance lithium metal anodes. $399,194
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. Research a scalable synthesis to enable very thin coatings on solid state electrolyte membranes to enable high performance Li-Sulfur Battery. $400,000
University of Maryland: College Park Using 3D printed, low tortuosity frameworks, develop solid state Li-ion batteries. $400,000
General Motors LLC Design, engineer, develop, and integrate pouch-format cells for lithium-sulfur batteries to achieve high energy density and long cycle life. $400,000
University of Pittsburgh Research sulfur electrodes utilizing lithium ion conductor (LIC) coatings for high energy density advanced lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. $400,000
Cornell University Research highly loaded sulfur cathodes and conductive carbon coated separators that enable high energy batteries. $360,000
University of Maryland: College Park Research advanced electrolytes to limit dendrite growth in lithium-metal cells. $400,000
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Utilize an analytical and experimental approach to examine the interface between solid state electrolytes and lithium-metal anodes and identify potential methods for mitigating dendrite growth. $400,000
Navitas Advanced Solutions Group, LLC Research a solvent-free process to fabricate all-solid Li batteries. $400,000
Wayne State University Research novel full-cell, ultra high-energy Li- metal batteries based on 3-dimensional architectures. $225,000
Oregon State University Research and develop a new process to produce Li2S@graphene composite cathodes to inhibit polysulfides to enhance cycle life. $353,500
SUNY University at Stony Brook Research li-sulfur batteries using a novel sulfur rich nanosheet composite cathode. $400,000
University of Houston Research high-energy solid-state lithium batteries with organic cathode materials. $400,000

ICME Low Cost Carbon Fiber (Area of Interest 2)
Lead organization
Description Funding
University of Virginia Research multiscale integrated computational approach to assess new carbon fiber precursors. Reactive Force Field and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of conversion processes will help identify promising precursors. $3,000,000
Western Research Institute Using state-of-the-art oil and polymer analytics, DFT aided molecular dynamics modeling, and machine learning, the Consortium will develop advanced computational tools for low cost carbon fiber from a variety of feed stocks. $3,745,413

Emission Control Strategies for Advanced Combustion Engines (Area of Interest 3)
Lead organization
Description Funding
University of Houston Research and develop a multi-functional, lean catalyzed trap for low temperature combustion engines. $2,099,998
University of Kentucky Research and develop novel adsorber technology to address hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions for Low Temperature Gasoline Applications. $2,098,530

EEMS R&D projects (Area of Interest 4)
Lead organization
Description Funding
Clemson University Create anticipative and predictive vehicle controls algorithms and develop novel vehicle-in-the-loop testbed to show energy savings of 10% in mixed traffic. $1,159,987
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Develop a novel bi-level (traffic and vehicle) controller that integrates eco-routing, speed harmonization, and vehicle dynamics control to achieve 20% efficiency improvement in combined city/highway traffic. $1,507,197
University of California: Riverside Evaluate energy opportunities from connected, automated, shared mobility services through data collection and energy intensity and modal activity modeling in the state of California. $1,094,578



Es memorable y admirable el sistema de financiación en Estados Unidos para el avance en Baterías.....Igualito que aquí en Europa.


Carrageenan from sea kelp helps as a cathode binder in LiS batteries to stabilize poly sulfide binding in the electrolyte.


This is one of the mixes Argonne Labs, under contract to DOE, was suppose to have already tried as a possible candidate and nothing moved them to continue to develop the LiS battery....something smells here because if Argonne can't do it with the test equipment they have, no one can...I think this is a political payoff to GM and MB through their lobbyist,the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Do not expect anything out of this except money in GM's and MB's pocket to counter their election year donations to the political parties. This is the way it works: GM donates campaign money then receives Federal contracts in return. DOE has been paying the American auto companies for years through the USABC program...and they have yet to produce a viable product. Taxpayer money used for political gain, legal; but not ethical.



Yeah you got it all figured out, no one puts anything past you.


Yes Lad, USABC (and friends) have not produced tangible results for 10+ years.

Will they do better in the next 10+ years?

Universities may produce more with less?

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