From electric cars to consumer electronics, the market for lithium-ion batteries has been rapidly growing for the past several years. It is that demand which is driving a collaborative study between Nano One Materials (NNO.V) and Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Dr. Stephen Campbell, principal scientist at Nano One, said the project will advance the understanding of the physical and chemical characteristics of lithium-ion batteries as they charge and discharge.
“This project will help us characterize how battery materials change over time,” Dr. Campbell said in a news release. “We will be in a better position to explain performance improvements in our cathode formulations, and this will help us optimize process parameters and develop new materials.”
The two-year collaboration with SFU will be supervised by associate professor Dr. Byron Gates and Dr. Campbell, with financial support from the Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
“My team will be developing new analytical techniques to characterize lithium ion battery materials while they charge and discharge,” said Dr. Gates. “This will advance the field, not only in the battery space but also for related technologies to improve our understanding of these materials and their performance. Nano One will be closely involved and will be able to utilize this knowledge and the newly developed techniques to guide their own developments of new materials for lithium-ion batteries.”
Dr. Campbell noted Dr. Gates has been serving as a key advisor to Nano One, “and I am proud to be taking our working relationship to a new level with this project.”
Transparency Market Research issued a report last year which shows the global lithium-ion battery market was valued at US$29.68 billion in 2015 and is projected to reach US$77.42 billion by 2024. Another study by the Argonne National Laboratory, a non-profit research lab operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy, notes that Li-ion batteries “may not be the ‘silver bullet’ that permanently solves all of the world’s energy storage problems, but they can certainly make a large contribution for at least several decades while the next breakthrough is sought.”