Imperial College London

£55m of funding announced for new battery projects

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Faraday Institution Car

The Faraday Institution has announced five new projects with £55 million of funding to help improve batteries used for transport and energy storage.

Imperial College London is part of a new project funded by the Faraday Institution to enable rapid improvements in Lithium Sulfur batteries by generating new knowledge, materials and engineering solutions.

The project, LiSTAR (Lithium-Sulfur Technology Accelerator) will be led by UCL and includes seven industrial partners alongside six other universities. The workplan is guided by a set of industry-defined goals to improve performance of electric vehicles.

LiSTAR will be taking a deep dive look at Lithium Sulfur batteries (Li-S). It has a dual focus on fundamental research at material and cell level, and an improved approach to system engineering. Lithium Sulfur batteries are one of the most promising and mature alternative technologies available, with an amazing potential for Li-S to take batteries for automotive and other applications beyond current solutions.

“We are very excited to be part of this team working on high energy density batteries to address important transportation and technological gaps beyond Li- ion,” says Professor Magda Titirici, Academic Lead for Imperial College London in the LiSTAR project, “I believe the close dialogue between academic and industry will be key to the success of the project.”

Running for four years, LiSTAR is a collaboration between UCL, Imperial, University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Southampton and University of Surrey. It is one of five projects that have been announced today by The Faraday Institution. The £55 million investment is to help improve batteries used for transport and energy storage. The research supported includes the underlying chemistry, designing battery systems and new ways of manufacturing batteries.

“Batteries are key to the future of many areas of the energy sector and understanding the potential of Lithium Sulfur is very important,” says Dr Greg Offer, working on LiStar with Professor Titirici, “By bringing in industrial partners, and their questions, I think we have a much stronger roadmap and more useful endpoint.”

The project also has cross-departmental support at the College from Dr Huizhi Wang, Dr Monica Marinescu of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Professor Anthony Kucernak of the Department of Chemistry.

The topics for this new set of projects were chosen after consultation with industry, academia, local and central government and other stakeholders at workshops held across the UK in 2018. The 32 industrial partners involved in the projects have pledged a total of £4.4 million in in-kind support.

The four other projects alongside LiSTAR are:

  • Nextrode, led by The University of Oxford
  • FutureCat, led by the University of Sheffield
  • CATMAT, led by the University of Bath
  • NEXGENNA, led by the University of St Andrews

Imperial was one of the founding members of the Faraday Institution. Its mission is to 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. In doing so the Faraday Institution aims to contribute to increasing the speed of uptake of EVs, enhancing economic prosperity, lowering carbon emissions, improving air quality, creating new industries and securing high-quality jobs for the UK.

Reporter

Neasan O'Neill

Neasan O'Neill
Faculty of Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 7044
Email: n.oneill@imperial.ac.uk

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