Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Nottingham university receives share of £55m for energy storage research

The University of Nottingham is one of five UK-based consortia to receive a share of up to £55 million from the Faraday Institution to conduct application-inspired research to make step changes in the development of battery chemistries, systems and manufacturing methods.

The new projects, for the first time, include the University of Nottingham as a consortium partner, further strengthening the Faraday Institution’s network of member universities. The new project will create two new positions for early career researchers in Nottingham, many of whom are expected to move into battery science and engineering from other fields.

Next generation research

The School of Chemistry will be conducting research into improving batteries used for transport and energy storage, examining thechemical composition of batteries to create the next generation for electric vehicles. The research will be carried out in the university’s  GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory and is part of the Alternative cell chemistry beyond lithium ion–LiSTAR, Lithium-Sulfur Technology Accelerator which will be led by University College London and will be funded up to a maximum of £7.8m.

The University of Nottingham will work alongside five other university partners and seven industrial partners to enable rapid improvements in Li-S technologies by generating new knowledge, materials and engineering solutions, thanks to its dual focus on fundamental research at material and cell level, and an improved approach to system engineering.

If the potential of Li-S is realised it would take batteries for automotive and other applications beyond the inherent limitations of Li-ion chemistry: Li-S is one of the most promising and mature alternative technologies available. The Principal Investigator of this consortia is Professor Paul Shearing of UCL. Other consortia partners are Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Southampton and University of Surrey.

“This project could revolutionise the battery market and will result in the training of a large number of battery scientists. The resulting injection of talent into the emerging battery industry will directly benefit the Midlands region, which already has a strong footprint in the electrification of the automotive sector,” said Dr Lee Johnson, a Nottingham Research Fellow with the University of Nottingham’s Propulsion Futures Beacon.

There are a total of five new projects in four focus areas joining the existing Faraday Institution research projects that collectively aim to deliver the organisation’s mission toaccelerate breakthroughs in energy storage technologies to benefit the UK in the global race to electrification. This expanded portfolio has the duel aims of improving current generation lithium ion batteries as well as longer horizon materials discovery and optimisation projects to support the commercialisation of next-generation batteries.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “Bringing together experts across industry and academia, this exciting research will grow our understanding of battery chemistries and manufacturing methods, with the potential to significantly improve the UK’s ability to develop the high-performance electric vehicles of the future.”

Business Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “Today’s funding backs scientists and innovators to collaborate on projects that will deliver a brighter, cleaner future on our roads. We are committed to ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of developing the battery technologies needed to achieve our aim for all cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.”

The projects, which are expected to run over four years, address battery challenges faced by industry and leverage the UK’s world-class research capabilities to advance scientific knowledge with the aim of commercialising new battery technologies and processes.

Three of the Faraday Institution’s four existing projects are focused on improving current generation lithium-ion battery chemistry, performance and recyclability. The fourth is seeking to address the scientific barriers facing the commercial realisation of solid-state batteries. These projects were launched early in 2018, totalling £42m and involve over 200 researchers from 20 universities, with their 30+ industrial partners.

The topics for the new research projects were chosen after consultation with industry, academia, local and central government and other stakeholders at workshops held across the UK in 2018. Industry partners will work closely with university researchers for the duration of the projects. This collaboration will ensure that the research produces findings and solutions that meet the needs of the UK’s businesses. The 32 industrial partners involved in the projects announced today have pledged a total of £4.4 million in in-kind support. The terms of the awards are currently being finalised.

Neil Morris, CEO of the Faraday Institution, said: “It is imperative that the UK takes a lead role in increasing the efficiency of energy storage as the world moves towards low carbon economies and seeks to switch to clean methods of energy production. Improvements in EV cost, range and longevity are desired by existing EV owners and those consumers looking to purchase an EV as their next or subsequent car.

“Our research to improve this web of battery performance indicators (which are different for different sectors) are being researched, with a sense of urgency, by the Faraday Institution and its academic and industrial partners. Our fundamental research programmes are putting the UK at the forefront of this disruptive societal, environmental and economic change.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £33.60 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.






Latest news

Digital marketing agency appoints three new directors

Hallam, the Nottingham-based digital marketing agency, has appointed three new directors as part of its strategic restructure. Charlotte Tomlinson (Media Director), Matt Berry (Client Services...

Revenue rise and return to profit for Lutterworth cyber security solutions provider

Lutterworth-based cyber security solutions provider Intercede is looking forward to "a further year of progress" as newly released preliminary results for the year ended...

Hotel Brooklyn to open second hotel in Leicester

Hotel Brooklyn, a Bespoke Hotels brand, is set to open its second hotel in Leicester in summer 2022, following the launch of its Manchester...

Hundreds of jobs to be cut at Triumph Motorcycles

240 people are to be made redundant in the UK at Hinckley-headquartered Triumph Motorcycles, with global job cuts said to be at 400. The move...

Slow pandemic support sees businesses plan to scrap banking provider

41% of businesses are planning to change their banking provider due to the slow support that has been offered during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is...

Related news

£7.5m deal to complete fourth phase of Burton-on-Trent mixed-use scheme

Nurton Developments (Quintus) has secured a £7.5 million deal with Cameron Homes to complete a fourth phase on its 400-acre Branston Locks mixed-use scheme...

Digital marketing agency appoints three new directors

Hallam, the Nottingham-based digital marketing agency, has appointed three new directors as part of its strategic restructure. Charlotte Tomlinson (Media Director), Matt Berry (Client Services...

Revenue rise and return to profit for Lutterworth cyber security solutions provider

Lutterworth-based cyber security solutions provider Intercede is looking forward to "a further year of progress" as newly released preliminary results for the year ended...

Hotel Brooklyn to open second hotel in Leicester

Hotel Brooklyn, a Bespoke Hotels brand, is set to open its second hotel in Leicester in summer 2022, following the launch of its Manchester...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close