Bentley Gives EVs the Red Light

High-end, high-class, and high-cost are all words synonymous with the word Bentley. The luxury car CEO Adrian Hallmark says he plans to keep it that way, and for that reason, he’s giving the inclusion of electric vehicles to the Bentley family the red light—for now.

Hallmark says battery technology has not evolved to the point where it would be possible to develop an ultraluxury electric vehicles, according to Tires and Parts. (more…)

30 Under 30 in Energy

Perk up people, this is the Forbes list 30 under 30 in energy edition. According to Forbes, each year their reporters spend months combing through possible contestants. Questionnaires, online digging, contact recommendations, and a panel of expert judges all help sift through to the top remaining candidates.

This year, Forbes focused on the movers and shakers of the battery field. With a worldwide $200 billion a year investment in wind and solar power generation projects, the revolution in renewables, and the transition to low-carbon energy sources is undeniable. And for that reason, we highlight three—just the tip of the iceburg—from the top thirty list.

Meghana Bollimpalli

Meghana Bollimpalli/Credit: Forbes

I don’t know what you were doing when you were 17, but Meghana Bollimpalli, a student at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas was inspired by a seminar on energy storage. Bollimpalli began working towards figuring out a way to make supercapacitors from cheaper materials. She discovered a mixture of tea powder, molasses, and tannin, with a pinch of phosphorous and nitrogen, could achieve the same performance as a platinum-based electrode, for just $1 each, taking home the 2018 Intel Foundation Young Scientist award. Not bad for a high school student. (more…)

Haodong Liu, recipient of the Battery Division Postdoctoral Associate Research Award Sponsored by MTI Corporation and the Jiang Family Foundation

Haodong Liu, a postdoc research fellow at UC San Diego, is the award winner of the Battery Division Postdoctoral Associate Research Award Sponsored by MTI Corporation and the Jiang Family Foundation for his work on “Stable Li Metal Anode through Designed Solution Chemistry and Electrode Architecture.” Liu was presented with the award at AiMES 2018 in Cancun, Mexico.

Liu says being recognized for his work has been an exciting experience, bringing recognition to his name and research within the battery field. However, it has also meant something more to him in particular.

“Since my citizenship is in China, and a lot of the scholarships here are only for the US citizens, this is a good chance for international postdocs to get awards and be recognized,” explains Liu. “ECS only cares about the quality of the work you’re doing instead of what’s your citizenship status. That’s why I really appreciate ECS.” (more…)

The Current State of Battery Research

By: Marca Doeff, ECS Battery Division Chair

Marca Doeff, a staff scientist in the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chair of the ECS Battery Division, discusses the future of batteries. Doeff covers advancements and developments, notable contributors and leaders, corporate sponsors and supporters, upcoming meetings and awards, all within the battery field.

What are a few current areas of battery research the division is focusing on?
Anything having to do with lithium-ion batteries, since they are turning out to be the real workhorses of the battery world. While the chemistry is fairly mature at this point, there is still a lot of work going on in silicon anodes, trying to find better cathode materials, and improving electrolytes.

(more…)

New energy system prototype from Chalmers University that can store the sun’s energy for up to 18 years. Image by: Chalmers University of Technology

According to Science Alert, scientists have recently figured out a way to store solar power for up to 18 years.

It’s made possible with a specialised fluid, called a solar thermal fuel, that’s catching the attention of numerous investors, according to the research team at the Chalmers University of Technology working on the project. (more…)

Have you ever picked up your cell, looked at the battery life, and go, “But I just charged this thing. What gives?” It’s not just you. According to The Washington Post, the smartphones battery life is getting worse. And, chances are, you’re new and upgraded 2018 smartphone’s battery life is actually worse than older models.

Phone makers have claimed to have tackled this battle by including more-efficient processors, low-power modes, and artificial intelligence to manage app drain, but it’s no secret to the battery industry that the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones have hit a plateau.

So, what gives? According to Nadim Maluf, CEO of a firm that optimizes batteries called Qnovos, batteries improve at a very slow pace, about 5 percent per year. (more…)

Q&A with George E. Blomgren

George BlomgrenGeorge E. Blomgren is the author of “The Development and Future of Lithium Ion Batteries,” the most-downloaded Journal of The Electrochemical Society paper since April 2017. To put this in perspective, Blomgren’s article has had 26,817 downloads this year. That is over 4.4 times the average amount received by the next nine most-downloaded JES papers for this year. Since its publication in December 2016, Blomgren’s paper has been downloaded a total of 53,575 times.

We decided to revisit the man with the incredible stats, and ask, how did you do it?

(more…)

Improving Lead Batteries

Photo Credit: Essential Energy Everyday

Lead batteries have been around 1859. They’ve changed our lives, giving us car batteries, standby batteries in case power outages, electric vehicles, and more. Still, despite all this progress, no one really understands the inner workings of lead batteries. According to Essential Energy Everyday, for the last century, lead battery manufacturers have invested much of their research in creating function and production, without fully understanding the underlying chemistry. However, that’s soon said to change as lead batteries are headed for a “high-tech makeover.”

A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, and Electric Applications have joined forces to realize the potential of a venerable battery technology.

Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science and ECS member, says this is a beautiful example of how synergy between industry and science can drive innovation. (more…)

XPRIZE hands the Skysource/Skywater Alliance their $1.75M prize.
Photo Credit: XPRIZE

It’s not unheard of for fundamental human necessities—shelter, food, and water—to not be met in certain parts of the world. Whether a result of poverty, political turmoil, geography, limited resources, or all of the above, it remains a struggle for many. However, a team of sustainability experts in California may be closer to solving one of those problems.

According to CNN, the team known as the Skysource/Skywater Alliance, have developed machines that can make gallons of fresh drinking water right out of thin air. These machines, dubbed Skywater, can make up to 300 gallons of fresh drinking water a day from thin air—to add some perspective to the magnitude of their invention. (more…)

MRS Webinar with Shirley MengThe Electrochemical Society and Materials Research Society are co-presenting a webinar on Frontiers in Solid State Batteries on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, from 1200-1330h ET.

ECS fellow, Shirley Meng, will be a presenter during the webinar. Jagjit Nanda of Oak Ridge National Laboratory will serve as the host for the webinar.

Webinar description

The advantages of solid state batteries were not fully recognized until the 1960s, with the discovery of beta-alumina, which led to the development of the commercially relevant high-temperature Na-S battery in the 1960s and the ZEBRA battery in the 1980s. The October issue of MRS Bulletin focuses on recent developments in solid ion-conductors and the various surface and interfacial challenges needed to be overcome for enabling solid-state batteries. (more…)

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