The Faraday Institution’s portfolio of research includes six projects that aim to optimise the performance of lithium ion technologies.
Led by the University of Cambridge with ten other university and seven industry partners, this project is examining how environmental and internal battery stresses (such as high temperatures, charging and discharging rates) damage electric vehicle (EV) batteries over time. Results will include the optimisation of battery materials and cells to extend battery life (and hence EV range), reduce battery costs, and enhance battery safety. With Cambridge, university partners include University College London, Newcastle University, Imperial College London, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of Liverpool and University of Warwick. The project’s Principal Investigator is Professor Clare Grey of the University of Cambridge.
Imperial College London (ICL) is leading a consortium of eight other university and 13 industry partners to equip industry and academia with new software tools to understand and predict battery performance, by connecting understanding of battery materials at the atomic level all the way up to an assembled battery pack. The goal is to create accurate models for use by the automotive industry to extend lifetime and performance, especially at low temperatures. With ICL, university partners include University of Southampton, University of Warwick, University of Oxford, Lancaster University, University of Bath, University of Portsmouth, University of Birmingham and University College London. The project is led by Dr Gregory Offer of ICL.
A project led by Dr Paul Anderson of the University of Birmingham and including seven other academic institutions and 12 industrial partners is determining the ways in which spent lithium batteries can be recycled. With the aim to recycle 100% of the battery, the ReLiB project is looking how to reuse the batteries and their materials, to make better use of global resources, and ultimately increase the impact of batteries in improving air quality and decarbonisation. With Birmingham, university partners include the University of Leicester, Newcastle University, Cardiff University, University of Liverpool, Oxford Brookes University, University of Edinburgh, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
The University of Oxford will lead a consortium of five other university and six industry partners to revolutionise the way electrodes for Li-ion batteries are manufactured. By understanding how materials assemble as electrodes are cast, and developing new manufacturing tools, the Nextrode consortium aims to usher in a new generation of smart, high performance electrodes, which could enable EVs with a longer range and batteries that are more durable. The project’s Principal Investigator is Professor Patrick Grant of the University of Oxford. Other university partners are University of Birmingham, University College London, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton and University of Warwick.
The Faraday Institution is funding two project consortia in this area.
The FutureCat project is led by the University of Sheffield with five other university and nine industry partners. It has a coordinated approach to cathode chemistry design, development and discovery (including tailored protective coatings and designer interfaces) to deliver cathodes that hold more charge, that are better suited to withstand prolonged cycling and promote ion mobility (increasing battery durability and range and acceleration of the EV) while reducing the dependency of cell manufacturers on cobalt. The project’s Principal Investigator is Professor Serena Corr of the University of Sheffield. Other academic partners are University of Cambridge, University College London, Lancaster University, University of Oxford and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
The CATMAT project is led by the University of Bath with six other university and 12 industry partners, this project will place considerable emphasis on understanding the fundamental mechanisms at work within novel cathodes that currently prevent the use of nickel-rich cathode materials (with low or no cobalt) and lithium-rich cathodes. The consortium plans to exploit this new knowledge to inform the discovery of novel cathode materials with enhanced properties. It will scale up the synthesis of the most promising new materials and assimilate them into fully battery cells to demonstrate performance. CATMAT will be led by Professor Saiful Islam of the University of Bath. Other academic partners include University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, University College London and Diamond Light Source.