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Inorganic materials for electrochemical energy storage

Country of Origin: Switzerland
Reference Number: TOES20210114001
Publication Date: 29 March 2021

Summary

A research group from Spain working on inorganic materials has got as goal how to obtain materials that open the way to new batteries, in which the lithium ion can be replaced by multivalent ions of alternative elements such as sodium or magnesium. 
They are searching for collaboration with battery manufacturers or producers of battery materials throughout financial  or technical cooperation agreements.

Description

The main goal of the Spanish research group is to get materials that open the way to new batteries in which the lithium ion can be replaced by alternative elements such as sodium or magnesium. The strategy developed involves using the previous knowledge acquired on the synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials for lithium-ion systems to develop efficient electrochemical systems that overcome current limitations. This process may require novel synthesis techniques that encompass processes for the preparation of composite materials and the chemical or electrochemical preparation of thin protective films. 

The current research activity of the Spanish group from University of Cordoba is based on the hypothesis that any solution to the energy problem must start from solid bases that solve problems from conventional sources such as economic viability, environmental impact, and safety in materials supplies. After some years of strong implementation of lithium-ion batteries in the market, some well-founded opinions recognize limitations such as the security of the devices, the concentration of resources and their ability to extend to key applications such as transport or storage in large stationary installations. Before this panorama, the scientific community must investigate possible alternatives to lithium-ion batteries.

The chemical and electrochemical methods that are proposed offer a series of advantages, such as the best expense, layer thickness control, active material content, nanostructuring, nanoarchitecture, effective stacking, and absence of additives

This reasoning is perfectly adapted to the idea that emanates from the document on the "Spanish Strategy of Science and Technology and Innovation" that encourages the development of exploratory and pre-competitive initiatives that pursue new small scale and scalable opportunities in the future. Also, the research guidelines proposed by experts are in tune with the lines proposed by the European Commission for Horizon 2020.

Researchers are seeking battery manufacturers or battery materials production companies to collaborate under financial or technical cooperation agreements to further develop new materials.

Advantages and Innovations

Several specific advantages and innovations developed can be highlighted:
1. New preparation routes have been developed leading to successful improvements in the electrochemical response of the obtained electrode materials, e.g. by:
- Optimizing the effect of cosurfactant on the synthesis of surface-modified Na2/3Ni1/3Mn2/3O2 as a cathode for sodium-ion bateries..
- Obtaining highly dispersed oleic-induced nanometric C@Na3V2(PO4)2F3 composites for efficient Na-ion batteries.
2. Obtain and characterize structure, texture, and electrochemistry of new materials for the electrodes and electrolyte of sodium-ion batteries that allow overcoming some of the limitations of the numerous systems already studied by other groups, such as the irreversibility of the first cycles, the complete cell voltage and stability against prolonged cycling. Several full Na-ion batteries have been examined in different papers published by this group like hard carbon.
3. Propose a prototype of the sodium ion battery, based on the knowledge developed in the project, the group's previous experience and possible collaboration with technology centers.
4. Examine different electrode and electrolyte materials recently studied in the literature on aluminum, magnesium or calcium batteries or derived from the group's knowledge of lithium and sodium systems, to improve parameters such as working voltage, capacity volumetric and gravimetric, stability and cycle life, etc. With some results like the beneficial effect of MgCl2 as an electrolyte additive to improve the electrochemical Performance of Li4Ti5O12 as cathode in Mg Batteries or exploring Na3V2(PO4)3 as a new positive electrode material for rechargeable aluminium batteries.
5. Selection of materials and preliminary tests of dual metal-ion batteries. Using Na3V2(PO4)3 as electrode material for rechargeable magnesium batteries
6. Knowledge about the field allow to develop a calculation model that is useful

Stage Of Development

Under development/lab tested

Requested partner

Researchers are seeking battery manufacturers or producers of battery materials to collaborate under financial or technical cooperation agreements  to develop new materials.   

Specific area of the partner sought :Manufacturing of batteries and battery materials
Tha desired output of the collaboration is the development of new materials in order to get long- lived batteries.

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