The primary research areas within lithium ion battery (LIB) research at the Energy Innovation Centre seeks to exploit and integrate novel materials, advanced electrode formulations, manufacturing techniques and testing methodologies realised at universities, and combine them at a scale that is industrially meaningful. The outputs of this research will be next generation cell technology and step-changes in manufacturability that will pave the way for the UK to enter the global LIB market.
Near Term Themes
The research areas are grouped under themes in the first phase focus on near term, viable, higher technology readiness chemistries and will include:
- Optimisation - Here we aim to deliver optimal composite electrode microstructures for each active material that will orchestrate maximum ionic and electronic conductivity at the cell level. The Pilot Line equipment is representative of manufacturing capabilities in order to "drop-in" novel formulations and process improvements.
- Energy Density - Developments within high voltage cathode materials will be incorporated here along with those of energy-dense anode materials and functional material synthesis approaches will be explored here.
- Power Density I - Exploration into advanced cathode systems such as phosphates, in parallel with additional rate-enhancing changes to conventional anode approaches (e.g. graphene augmentation of electrodes.)
- Stability - Integral safety considerations applied to electrolyte systems and additives will utilise the latest advances in electrolytes with improved voltage stability. WMG will work with Argonne within this area.
- Power Density II - Nano-porous anode systems (including carbons) to elevate rate capability above and beyond what is currently available to meet EV energy needs.
WMG's cell development and scale-up activities will continue to grow in parallel to these research themes incorporating new cell components, methodologies and testing parameters to a range of cell types.