Collaboration looks to optimise battery technology

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Johnson Matthey (JM), a specialist in sustainable technologies, has joined with CPI, the technology innovation centre, and Thomas Swan, a leading UK chemical manufacturer, to explore how to optimise battery technology.

The ICE-Batt project receives funding support from the Faraday Battery Challenge, managed by Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency – to enable the investigation of how innovative carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) can improve battery performance.

Ultimately this research could lead to improvements in energy density, power density and low temperature performance of lithium-ion and beyond lithium-ion technologies. In addition, the project will explore how to improve the green credentials of battery processing.

ICE-Batt will combine Thomas Swan’s innovative GNP technology and CPI’s formulation expertise to explore how together they can help realise the full potential from JM’s high performance battery materials.

The ICE-Batt project aims to overcome the limitations of lithium-ion batteries, including energy density, power density and low temperature performance through the application of innovative carbons. The project will look to fine tune these carbon structures produced at an industrial scale by Thomas Swan and demonstrate how they can be best applied to enhance the overall performance of traditional lithium-ion and next generation batteries such as JM’s family of nickel-rich advanced cathode materials eLNO and Life Power LFP.

A founding member of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, CPI will provide formulation optimisation through integration, iteration and evaluation. By using CPI’s high throughput capabilities, the project looks to develop improved, safer and more-sustainable technologies in the production of battery cathodes and support the shift away from the commonly used solvents, improving sustainability and the potential for widespread adoption.

Fine-tuning the existing cathode formulations and introducing advanced carbon nano-materials into them may result in a longer life-span for lithium-ion batteries, which will have widespread economic benefits to society. In this way the ICE-Batt project will help pave the way for the next generation of high-performance, sustainable battery technology.

According to Dr Amponsah Kyeremateng, Senior Research Scientist at CPI, said: “The widespread adoption of electric vehicles is needed, but we will never get there if we don’t have the right and affordable battery technology. The ICE-Batt project is helping to make this possible, by improving current lithium-ion battery performance while helping to establish the next generation of more sustainable, affordable and efficient battery technology.”