Exide Technologies joins high-tech CBI study to maximise lifetime of advanced lead batteries

by John Shepherd
The project utilises the NG6 cold neutron imaging instrument at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, US) to provide imaging for the European team of scientists. Photo: CBI
A European research project that uses neutron diffraction in a bid to maximise the lifetime of energy storage batteries was formally launched today by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI).

The process, which images the entire crystal structure of the battery as it operates, will provide a "complete picture of how battery electrodes are changing at the micro-level – something never-before done in lead battery research”, the CBI said.

CBI is funding the project – being conducted in collaboration with Spain’s Instituto de Nanociencia y Materiales de Aragón (INMA) and lead battery manufacturing giant, Exide Technologies – as the EU sets its sights on becoming a world-leader in sustainable battery technology and manufacturing.

The scientific team will study the fundamental processes that govern recharge efficiency and battery electrode failure, using a suite of neutron beamline experiments.

'Vital insights'

CBI director Dr Alistair Davidson said: "The ability to probe battery electrodes in real-time, under typical energy storage duty cycles, will deliver vital insights into how to enhance performance and the overall lifetime of the battery.”

"This information is a critical part of our advanced battery research programme, which aims to ensure advanced lead batteries continue to innovate to meet heightened demand for clean, renewable energy storage across the globe.”

INMA is a joint institute of Spain’s University of Zaragoza and the Spanish National Research Council. Exide Technologies will take part in the project through one of its R&D; centres near Madrid.

The CBI said battery energy storage is set to be "one of the defining technologies of the century”. Advanced lead batteries will be a "critical part of the landscape, with Europe home to leading manufacturing, recycling and research capability”.

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