New battery developments underway in the UK

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The University of Surrey has announced it is to begin work on a new lithium-ion battery technology capable of capturing CO2  emissions, following an award from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The project, which will be led by Dr Yunlong Zhao, will undertake research into batteries that use Li–CO electrochemical technology. Crucially, the research will look to achieve a breakthrough in efficient CO fixation to store energy.

Zhao explained, “The move to carbon neutral forms of energy supplies is critical to the long-term health of our planet and we are hopeful that our ambitious new project will help to address this need. This project will look at fundamental studies of electrochemical mechanisms through a multimodal in situ characterisation platform developed in collaboration with NPL.”

Meanwhile, also in the UK, Synthomer, a supplier of aqueous polymers, has secured over £750,000 (US$960,000) from the ISCF Faraday Battery Challenge, part of the UK government’s Innovate UK scheme. The grant is set to fund research into increasing the performance, manufacturability and environmental sustainability of lithium-ion battery cells.

The company said its project, which is known as Synergy, will lead to manufacturing and performance improvements in the anode system. Synthomer will also focus on methods to improve the safety and environmental profile of cathode systems. Combined, the improvements are expected to reduce the costs of cell manufacture and help to realize the range and power output needed for the next generation of electric vehicles.

“Despite significant improvements in battery technology, further optimization of raw materials is needed to achieve the targets of the automotive industry,” highlighted Tom Castle, market development manager at Synthomer.

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