Week 11-17 February 2019
Welcome to the third edition of our Last Week In Batteries digest! Battery recycling and domestic manufacturing is on everyone's mind this week, it seems.
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This is a very basic review of last week's events relevant to the battery and fuel cell industries. We do not pretend to be experts in this space but as investors we find such an overview helpful. The digest is intentionally very brief and dry and is intended as a demonstration rather as an end product. We'd love to hear what tools/software/platforms you use to stay abreast of the events in your industries of interest: please answer our anonymous questionnaire.
US is looking into recycling Li-ion batteries
US Department of Energy is setting up a 3-year project worth $15 billion to develop domestic capability of recycling Li-ion batteries en masse as a matter of national security.
Impact areas: Li-ion battery supply chain and environmental footprint
Li-ion battery recycling's impact on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
DoE's efforts (see above) could benefit from the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation's research into Li-ion battery recycling approaches and their environmental footprint. The researchers detail the best ways to recycle or reuse components of old EV batteries to minimize the impact on the environment.
Impact areas: Environmental footprint of Li-ion batteries and electric vehicles
Lithium metal battery safety switch
Rice University researchers have designed a red phosphorus membrane that detects dendrites inside lithium metal batteries and stops charging to prevent fire or explosions.
Impact areas: Lithium metal battery safety
France wants to produce electric vehicle batteries
Reportedly, France intends to invest €700 million over the next 5 years into stimulating domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.
Impact areas: EV battery supply chain
Management of battery swapping networks
A team of researchers is proposing an approach to manage a network of electric vehicle battery swapping stations in the most efficient way. Battery swapping is an alternative to fast charging and an important factor for EV adoption.
Impact areas: EV charging infrastructure, EV battery demand
A study of zinc-air batteries with aqueous chloride electrolytes
A team of scientists from several European institutions has studied the behavior of aqueous chloride electrolytes in zinc-air batteries had has proposed ways to improve battery stability and performance.
Impact areas: Zinc-air battery stability and performance
Peering into molecular processes in fuel cells
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's National Centre for Mass Spectrometry, and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory in the US have designed a technique to visualize in real time the processes inside materials in fuel cells. Understanding these processes can help scientists to design better fuel cells.
Impact areas: Fuel cell performance
Seeing how fast charging degrades Li-ion batteries
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy have used X-ray imaging to see how fast charging causes lithium to misbehave in a process called lithium plating. Plating is irreversible and reduces battery capacity and performance over time. The new insights can help researchers to design better batteries and charging processes.
Impact areas: Li-ion battery durability and performance
Predicting catalyst performance
Researchers from Wayne State University have discovered a quantitative catalytic property that "can identify the most promising structures" for new battery and fuel cell catalysts. This property essentially predicts catalytic performance and allows to calculate a new catalyst's performance before running expensive experiments. Catalysts are critical performance and cost factors for both batteries and fuel cells.
Impact areas: Battery and fuel cell costs and performance
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