Batteries—they’re all around us, from everyday items like cellphones and laptops to life-saving medical devices and environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. So, who are the people behind the batteries that continue to impact and improve our daily lives?

According to Research Interfaces, the following are the 10 lithium-ion battery researchers to watch. (more…)

New, low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use in electric vehicles? Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk says the public can expect just that from the Model 3 sedan, expected to debut in China late this year or early next. 

According to Reuters, the new “million mile” battery—which relies on low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, among others—was jointly developed with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL). Reuter’s sources say CATL plan on supplying Tesla with an improved long-life nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery whose cathode is 50% nickel and only 20% cobalt sometime next year. (more…)

Krishnan Rajeshwar on Solar Fuels

Raj RajeshwarKrishnan Rajeshwar, past ECS president, editor-in-chief of the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology, and a leading researcher in solar fuels, was recently featured on the podcast Conceptual Science where he discusses solar fuels, their chemistry, challenges, and prospects. Co-hosts John and Tracy Suchocki describe the interview as one of their more technical episodes—what better audience to tune in that ours! So if you’re into chemical reactions, particularly oxidations and reductions, this may be of interest. (more…)

Robb Cohen Photography & Video

John W. Weidner of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Cincinnati received the 2019 Carl Wagner Memorial Award at the 236th Electrochemical Society (ECS) Meeting. The award recognizes mid-career achievement, excellence in research areas of interest of the Society, and significant contributions in the teaching or guidance of students or colleagues in education, industry, or government.

Weidner delivers “Mathematical Modeling of Electrochemical Systems” on Tuesday, 15 October, at 1140-1200 in Room 311.

John W. Weidner

John W. Weidner is an ECS Fellow and dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. He published 113 refereed journal articles and contributed to over 200 technical presentations in the field of electrochemical engineering. His research group created novel synthesis routines… (more…)

In September 2019, at the 16th International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC-XVI), Symposium Chair Subhash Singhal presented a plaque from The Electrochemical Society (ECS) to Yukiko Dokiya, the widow of Professor Masayuki Dokiya. Also present were daughter Fumiko Dokiya, her husband Hironobu Dokiya, and their daughter Yoko Dokiya and son Masahiro Dokiya.  The plaque thanked the Dokiya family for their generous contribution in Masayuki’s memory. The gift made possible the creation of the Dokiya Fund of The Electrochemical Society in 2004. From 2004 to 2019, the Fund provided financial travel assistance to 128 Dokiya Fund Travel Grant Recipients to attend ECS and other related meetings around the world in their pursuit of electrochemical science and technology to benefit mankind. (more…)

Elon Musk promised—and Jeff Dahn delivered! With the publishing of a ground-breaking paper in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES), Dahn announced to the world that Tesla may soon have a battery that makes their robot taxis and long-haul electric trucks viable. Dahn and his research group is Tesla’s battery research partner. Dahn says “… that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over one million miles and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.

According to Doron Aurbach, JES batteries and energy storage technical editor, “This comprehensive article is expected to be impactful in the field of batteries and energy storage. It is a very systematic study by one of the most renowned and prestigious electrochemistry groups in the world. It was a pleasure for me as a technical editor to handle this paper. It substantiates all the statements about the truly high quality and importance of JES, one of the leading and most prestigious journals in electrochemistry. JES provides an excellent service to the global electrochemistry community—and thousands of ECS members—regardless of ‘impact factors.’” As of today, Dahn’s JES article has received over 31,563 abstract views, over 17,000 articles downloads, and quotes in news outlets around the world. (more…)

Jeff Dahn

More efficient, longer-lasting batteries are needed to ensure the future of the electric vehicle market. Thanks to Jeff R. Dahn and his Dalhousie University research team, a “million-mile battery” may soon be a reality. Dahn is Tesla’s battery research partner. In “A Wide Range of Testing Results on an Excellent Lithium-Ion Cell Chemistry to be used as Benchmarks for New Battery Technologies,” Dahn describes a new Li-ion battery cell with a single crystal NMC cathode and an advanced electrolyte. The new battery should power an electric vehicle for one million miles and last at least 20 years in grid energy storage—making Tesla’s electric-powered semi-autonomous driving cars and trucks viable.

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It’s winter. And with that comes heavy coats, icy winds, and occasionally, below freezing temperatures: conditions not favorable for batteries.

Car batteries

Temperature extremes, in general, are not favorable to batteries. According to Lifewire, lead-acid batteries drop in capacity by about 20 percent in normal to freezing weather, and down to about 50 percent in temperatures that reach about -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a result, you may find your car battery giving out on any given winter morning. This is due to reduced capacity and increased draw from starter motors and accessories. This is because starter motors require a tremendous amount of amperage to get going: knocking out the capacity of even the newest batteries. (more…)

Fuel CellApplying a tiny coating of costly platinum just 1 nanometer thick—about 1/100,000th the width of a human hair—to a core of much cheaper cobalt could bring down the cost of fuel cells.

This microscopic marriage could become a crucial catalyst in new fuel cells that use generate electricity from hydrogen fuel to power cars and other machines. The new fuel cell design would require far less platinum, a very rare metal that sold for almost $900 an ounce the day this article was produced.

“This technique could accelerate our launch out of the fossil-fuel era,” says Chao Wang, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins University and senior author of a study published in the journal Nano Letters.

“It will not only reduce the cost of fuel cells,” Wang says. “It will also improve the energy efficiency and power performance of clean electric vehicles powered by hydrogen.”

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Fuel CellA closer look at catalysts is giving researchers a better sense of how these atom-thick materials produce hydrogen.

Their findings could accelerate the development of 2D materials for energy applications, such as fuel cells.

The researchers’ technique allows them to probe through tiny “windows” created by an electron beam and measure the catalytic activity of molybdenum disulfide, a two-dimensional material that shows promise for applications that use electrocatalysis to extract hydrogen from water.

Initial tests on two variations of the material proved that most production is coming from the thin sheets’ edges.

Researchers already knew the edges of 2D materials are where the catalytic action is, so any information that helps maximize it is valuable, says Jun Lou, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University whose lab developed the technique with colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

(more…)

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