HARWELL, UK (1 June 2022) The Faraday Institution today awarded 16 small, fast-paced, focused projects in areas not covered within its existing battery research portfolio. In doing so it has widened its research scope, and set of university partners, in an initiative that will inform future priorities for its research programme beyond March 2023.
The new seed projects, in the areas of anodes, electrolytes, cathodes, next generation technologies, applications and data management, and flow batteries, aim to deliver transformative results that may lead to a second stage of collaborative research beyond the initial exploratory work.
“These novel projects are in areas of application-inspired research that continue to strengthen the UK’s position in electrochemical energy storage and ultimately contribute to making UK industry more competitive,” said Professor Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution.
“With the initiation of these projects, we are delighted to welcome four new universities, Durham, York, Loughborough and Queen Mary University London, to the Faraday Institution community, bringing the total to 27.”
In total 14 universities are involved with the seed projects: Durham, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Nottingham, Imperial, Leicester, Loughborough, Oxford, QMUL, Sheffield, Strathclyde, Surrey, UCL, and York. The projects will run for a maximum of 12 months and represent a £2 million investment in research by the Faraday Institution. The funding round was highly competitive; it was oversubscribed by four times.
The two projects on flow batteries (a potentially transformative, low-cost energy storage technology for emerging economies), totalling £277,000, are being funded with UK aid from the UK government, via the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme. TEA is a research and innovation platform supporting the technologies, business models and skills needed to enable an inclusive clean energy transition.
Descriptions of the projects can be accessed on the Faraday Institution website. The projects, principal investigators and universities involved are:
- Scalable and sustainable manufacture of Si anodes for transforming commercial batteries, Professor Siddharth Patwardhan, University of Sheffield
- Operando PDF-CT for advanced batteries, Dr Alexander Rettie, University College London
- Microwave assisted processing for interface tailoring of Si-C anodes (MAP IT), Professor Bala Vaidhyanathan, Loughborough University
- Silicon Evolve, Professor Paul Shearing, University College London
- Exploring new electrolytes for next-generation Li-ion batteries, Dr Wesley Dose, University of Leicester
- Phase-independent electrolytes for improved battery safety and recycling, Associate Professor Paul McGonigal, Durham University with the University of York
- Manufacturing of advanced electrodes with green solvents - MAEGS, Professors James Clark and Emma Kendrick, University of York and University of Birmingham
- Scale-up manufacturing of next generation ultra-high power Li-ion cathodes, Professor Jawwad Darr, University College London
- Targeted design and testing of novel magnesium battery electrolytes for safe, high energy density storage, Dr Stuart Robertson, University of Strathclyde with the University of Sheffield
- Demonstration of the lithium-air gas diffusion electrode and system scoping, Associate Professor Lee Johnson, University of Nottingham with University of Oxford
- Rational design and manufacture of stacked Li–CO2 pouch cells, Assistant Professor Yunlong Zhao, University of Surrey
Applications and data management
- Battery multiphasE modelling for improving SAFEty (BESAFE), Dr Huizhi Wang, Imperial College London
- Hybrid electrochemical energy storage, Professor Emma Kendrick, University of Birmingham
- Supercomputing capable battery data hub for scale and accelerated analysis, Associate Professor Gonçalo dos Reis, University of Edinburgh with University of Oxford
Redox flow batteries
- Advanced manufacturing of 3D porous electrodes for redox flow batteries, Dr Ana Jorge Sobrido, Queen Mary University London with University College London
- Device engineering of Zn-based hybrid microflow batteries and by-product H2 collection for emerging economies, Professor Dan Brett, University College London
Launched just four years ago, the Faraday Institution has convened a research community of 500 researchers across 27 universities and more than 50 industry partners to work on game-changing energy storage technologies that will transform the UK energy landscape from transportation to grid.
The core Faraday Institution research programme encompasses 10 large, coordinated, multi-disciplinary research programmes on battery degradation, modelling, recycling, cathode materials, electrode manufacturing, solid-state, lithium-sulfur and sodium ion batteries, as well as a range of smaller projects: industry sprints, and industry and entrepreneurial fellowships.
For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit www.faraday.ac.uk and follow @FaradayInst on twitter or LinkedIn.