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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V002260/1
Title: Scalable fabrication of on-chip Li CO2 batteries for efficient electrocatalysts screening and energy storage mechanism study
Principal Investigator: Zhao, Dr Y
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Johnson Matthey National Physical Laboratory QinetiQ
Department: ATI Electronics
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 05 January 2021 Ends: 04 August 2023 Value (£): 243,689
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Jun 2020 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 10 and 11 June 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The gradual depletion of fossil fuels and continuous emissions of greenhouse gas are two major energy and environmental problems that confront the world. To solve these worldwide issues, the UK becomes the first major economy to pass the net-zero emissions law. The new target requires the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. Thus, how to maximise the electrical energy supplies and balance the CO2 emissions becomes a critical issue to realise the low carbon society. Metal-CO2 batteries, with the dual characteristics of both effective CO2 fixation and advanced energy storage/conversion, will be perfectly aligned with the national strategy in clean energy and sustainability. Among different metal-CO2 batteries, Li-CO2 batteries are considered the best candidates due to their high theoretical specific energy density (~1800 Wh/kg) and relatively high discharge potential (~2.8 V). However, the development of Li-CO2 batteries is still in its infancy stage. This project aims to make advancements in Li-CO2 batteries with a focus on screening efficient cathode electrocatalysts and studying reaction mechanisms.

The high charge potential and unclear reaction mechanisms of current Li-CO2 batteries results in its poor reversibility and short cycle life. Therefore, massive efforts need to devote to find efficient catalysts and understand the comprehensive mechanisms. This project proposes a versatile screening and in situ characterisation platform for rapid screening of highly efficient electrocatalysts and in-depth studying of reaction mechanisms. This project details a specific method to fabricate on-chip Li-CO2 batteries. Combine a unique four-electrode circuit with advanced high-resolution characterisation methods, the structure-property relationship and underlying mechanism of Li-CO2 batteries will be revealed, which could further guide the optimisation of Li-CO2 batteries.

Project partners NPL (in situ characterisations), Johnson Matthey (materials and batteries) and QinetiQ (manufacturing and batteries) will provide essential know-how in order to help achieve the project aims: to fabricate on-chip Li-CO2 batteries prototype; to select optimal electrocatalysts; to construct in situ characterisation platform and uncover the underlying mechanism; to optimise the performance of Li-CO2 batteries.

This project is the natural result of the PI's expertise in the scalable fabrication of on-chip devices, rational design of electrocatalysts and battery, and in situ electrochemical characterisations. The framework of the proposed work will be underpinned by extensive energy materials characterisation expertise and infrastructure, as well as extensive expertise and facilities in battery manufacturing and testing at the University of Surrey.
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.surrey.ac.uk