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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M009521/1
Title: Enabling next generation lithium batteries
Principal Investigator: Bruce, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Grey, Professor CP Gleeson, Professor H Grant, Professor P
Brandon, Professor NP Mattsson, Dr K Wilson, Professor AJ
Ward, Professor IM Islam, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Arup Group Ltd AVL EDF
Jaguar Land Rover Limited Johnson Matthey Nokia
QinetiQ Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 21 October 2015 Ends: 20 April 2022 Value (£): 6,799,833
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Oct 2014 Programme Grant Interviews - 21 and 22 October 2014 (Physical Sciences) Announced
23 Apr 2015 Programme Grant Interviews 23 April 2015 (Physical Sciences) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Energy storage is a great research challenge of our time: the rechargeable Li-ion battery (LiB) has transformed portable electronics; it is the technology of choice for electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and it has a key role to play in grid scale storage applications where it can facilitate more effective and greater use of renewable energy. However, today's consumer electronic Li-ion batteries cannot simply be scaled-up for electric vehicles or grid storage, and new generations of lithium-ion batteries are required that deliver enhanced combinations and improved balances of: cost (<£100/kWh), energy density (>300 Wh/kg), power density (> 2000 W/kg), safety (especially fire resistance), calendar life (> 10 yrs) and lifetime (> 3000 cycles). In the past, efforts to address these challenges have often been based on individual researchers or groups focused on science OR engineering. Our vision is that success requires basic research to tackle these hurdles, but one that employs an integrated programme across a range of science and engineering uniting materials chemists, materials modelling across lengths from the nano-scale to the device-scale, manufacturing engineers, skills in in-situ characterization techniques, in communication with supply chain companies and end-users. Our research spans step-changes in LiBs as well as more radical ideas and technologies beyond LiBs, such as the lithium-air battery.

We will

- Identify new classes of anode materials to overcome the disadvantages of poor safety and low power inherent to the graphitic anodes currently used in almost all commercial LIBs.

- Develop 3D polymer/ceramic interpenetrating networks as protective membranes for lithium metal electrodes, transforming the energy density of the anode.

- Develop novel polymer electrolytes and methods to process them, leading to the viable (and much safer) solid-state alternatives to flammable liquid electrolytes in lithium batteries.

- Identify and reduce sources of resistance in solid electrolyte-electrode interfaces

- Enable the use of higher voltage cathode materials via the use of solid-state electrolytes and coatings.

- Address the major hurdles facing the realisation of the game changing lithium-air battery by investigating new redox mediating molecules to reduce charging voltages and electrocatalysts to increase discharge voltages.

- Use innovative manufacturing methods to produce 3D and structured composite electrodes to achieve increased energy density, and higher rate performances and lifetime.

- Integrate the new materials and electrode structures into lab scale battery devices thus demonstrating the potential of our advances

- Engage with all stakeholders in lithium batteries in the UK and abroad - be an advocate for Li batteries, disseminate results.

-Train a new cohort of people with experience of working in a team spanning a wide range of science and engineering skills

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk