Developing improved energy storage materials that will help Europe meet its aim of being the climate-neutral continent
The European Green Deal targets net zero CO2 emissions in Europe by 2050; including zero emissions from new cars by 2035. Electric vehicles do not emit CO2, however concerns about battery life and vehicle range have held back many European citizens from transitioning to this greener alternative. To tackle this issue improved batteries are required but development of these is often empirical and, when they fail, investigations into the cause occur after the fact – when the battery is dissembled – which can lead to chemical modifications, distorting the result. Although ‘operando’ methods exist, which characterise batteries during operation, there are no agreed protocols in terms of geometry, material handling or measurement methods, leading to a lack of confidence in comparability of the data.
This project will establish traceable, validated and quantitative operando methodology for energy storage materials suitable for use in battery systems. Advanced spectroscopy techniques will be used, improving upon current approaches in terms of sensitivity, accuracy and spatial resolution. New hybrid methods will be developed, allowing multiple measurements to be made on batteries during operation, establishing the links between material properties and cell performance. The project will also publish the first good practice guide on how to improve repeatability and accuracy of measurements on energy materials. The work, performed in conjunction with battery and car manufacturers to ensure results are translatable to real-world applications. In addition, the development of next generation materials based on more abundant, and therefore cheaper, resources that can also be more easily recycled will help Europe meet its Green Deal target.