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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L505274/1
Title: Practical Lithium Air Batteries
Principal Investigator: Hardwick, Professor L
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 November 2013 Ends: 31 October 2016 Value (£): 95,087
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electric Motor & Drive Systems Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project is centred around the development of a practical lithium air battery single cell with improved performance. The

project consortium includes Queens University Belfast and Liverpool University as academic partners and Johnson

Matthey, Axeon, JLR and Air Products as the industrial partners.

The instability of existing electrolytes to superoxides is a major barrier to achieving good cycle life in current laboratory

scale Li-air cells, due to capacity fade as a result of the formation of irreversible species from solvent decomposition that

occurs if current Lithium ion battery organic electrolytes are used. Therefore, significant effort will focus on synthesising

novel electrolytes capable of surviving operation in Li-air batteries, where a large operational voltage window and immunity

to degradation from superoxide attack are key features, combined with practical levels of oxygen solubility and ionic

conductivity. Novel ionic liquid electrolytes and blends will be synthesised using the expertise at QUB and also drawing on

empirical and modelling results already available in the literature, relating to solvent stability in the presence of superoxide.

Novel anode and cathode materials and catalysts will be prepared and tested (JM) in combination with improved

electrolytes synthesised in the project (JM). Emphasis will also be placed on optimising cathode structures for the novel

electrolytes to achieve improved capacity, current density and cycle life (JM, Axeon). Understanding the cathode reactions

oxygen reduction during discharge and oxygen evolution during charge with new electrolytes via iR and Raman

spectroelectrochemistry techniques will be undertaken (Liverpool University) and the behaviour at the anode interface in

the novel electrolytes will also be explored. The wide variety of analytical techniques available via the different project

partners including XPS, ATR, electron microscopy and electrochemical measurements will be applied within the project.

Cell testing studies will investigating the effects of various parameters, pressure, temperature , charge rate, the effect of

carbon dioxide and water impurities in inlet air and possible inlet air clean up strategies also be considered (JM, Axeon, Air

Products, JLR).

The key outputs from the project will be an optimised single cell configuration with the best electrolyte, electrode material

and electrode structure combination, accompanied by understanding of the electrochemistry and the effect of cathode

structure and test parameters on battery performance and cyclability. These data contribute toward establishing the

feasibility of lithium air battery technology and will lay a firm foundation for future development of larger scale

demonstration systems .
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk